Meet the eradication team…Ann De Schutter, GIS technician

Ann at work. Lunch break during Battle for Our Birds

Ann at work. Lunch break during Battle for Our Birds

My name is Ann, I am originally from Belgium and I always dreamt of coming to New Zealand. I finally did in 2013 with the intention of staying for only 6 months. I volunteered with DOC on Maud Island in January and got a job in the Geospatial team in Christchurch a few months later. I absolutely fell in love with New Zealand and I was lucky enough to be able to stay and continue working for DOC. Now, two and a half years later and I’m not leaving anytime soon!

My role in the eradication project is as a GIS technician I will be responsible for tracking the bait during the eradication. This will be done by using the flightlines from the helicopters GPS to monitor the area where the bait has been spread. I will track and monitor the bait use and area covered by producing maps and calculations. This will enable us to detect gaps in the coverage within the treatment area which is crucial for the success of the eradication.

I have always wanted a job that has a good balance of field and office work, a role that would utilize my skills and knowledge base that I had acquired from my Geography studies in Belgium. My job at DOC allows me to do what I love and also allows me to share and discuss ideas with a range of interesting and talented people. The Antipodes Mouse Eradication Project will allow me to work on the unique environment and species on the Antipodes islands. There is a great deal of scientific potential to be learnt from studying the Antipodes Islands, from the ecosystem, to the wildlife. I also have a love for exploration and going to this remote island is a privilege, as well as an opportunity of a lifetime! There will be challenges involved in this project, but I find satisfaction in overcoming challenges while working with a team of like minded people.

 

Ann Surveying at the Sagalassos Archeological Research project in Turkey

Ann Surveying at the Sagalassos Archeological Research project in Turkey

 

While I was still at university I helped out on an archeological site in Turkey. I was part of a small surveying team. We were mapping the archaeologist’s discoveries and connecting all the ‘dots’ to get an integrated mapping system. We were working in a remote location on top of a mountain in extreme conditions. This opportunity gave me some field experience that I’ve used at my job at DOC. I’ve helped out on a few 1080 drops during the Battle for Our Birds campaign, monitoring the bait coverage. This differs from the project on the Antipodes islands as they were operations to control pests and not eradications. The Antipodes project will be my first eradication project I will take part in.

In work and life I am motivated by my friends and family, the beautiful outdoors and it’s quietness. Walking up a steep hill/mountain/volcano and being rewarded by an amazing view at the top just makes me feel so small and gives me so much energy. My preferred modes of transport are walking, biking or snowboarding.

 

Ann will be heading out to Antipodes with the eradication team in May 2016 to begin the operation.