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Melanie Hayden

Position: BLAKE Ambassador

We decided to spread some Christmas cheer around the boat.  One person made some little paper Santa hats and we placed them on a few of the fish we caught, took photos and stuck them in various strategic places around the ship.  Let’s just say some people were a little shocked while others were very excited!  One of our favourites was Salp-a-Claus (see below).

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I’ve been working with NIWA for 28 days for my BLAKE ambassadorship! As an ambassador I ask lots of questions, I do what the scientists tell me, have late-night yarns, but most importantly I’m learning about a potential career path and doing my best to share that with other people.

My favourite thing about being an ambassador is the fact that this is a really big opportunity that not many people get in this stage of their uni degree.  I’ve been able to experience new things that are completely outside of my comfort zone. This one is my favourite voyage!!

For future ambassadors, definitely take the opportunity!  I didn’t think that I was going to get it because they had a question about outdoor pursuits, and I hadn’t done any of the big fancy name ones like Duke of Ed.  I threw in all of the outdoorsy things – lifeguarding, scuba diving… and they picked me!  You don’t have to be fancy to like adventure!

For Māori and Pasifika students, don’t be afraid to take the opportunity.  Our people are connected to the land and the sea and the environmental sciences are a great way to protect those things.  We need to bring our perspectives into management of the environment and the more of us who can get into science and take opportunities like this, the better it will be for our people.

Below: Melanie with a Rays Bream.

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Do you know a Year 5-8 student who is leading positive change within their school? Why not nominate them for a BLAKE Young Leader Award.Learn More
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