Andrew Leach is working with one of the most substantial turtle conservation programs in Australia, a far cry (and 4,500km) from his childhood home in the ACT.
Growing up in Canberra it is rare for a kid to have a passion for the marine world. Now I’m on the beach most days and some nights monitoring the turtles that use the Gnaraloo Bay Rookery for nesting.
Luckily my family had a beach house near Wollongong where I quickly developed a love for all things marine. My grandfather also fostered my interest by giving me books upon books about all sorts of natural phenomena.
My role as part of the scientific team at Gnaraloo takes a few different forms. I’m head of the Geographic Information System (GIS) work stream, which means I do a lot of data management and undertake all digital mapping and spatial analysis required by the program.
At the end of the nesting reason we write reports detailing our findings. These reports are made available online as well as to research institutions, government bodies and universities.
There is also a large community outreach portion of the program. We visit universities, schools and community groups and give presentations, all with the goal of spreading the word about turtle and marine conservation.
I was also lucky enough to go exchange to the University of Miami where I did an in-depth marine semester and spent a lot of time in and on the water.
It’s always great to learn by getting your hands dirty.
BONUS: Learn more about Sea Turtles...
- ANDREW LEACH
UOW Bachelor of Marine Science (Honours), 2011