Durrell Women: Saphira Hunt - Project Officer in Saint Lucia
How long have you worked at Durrell and what does your job involve?
I've worked for Durrell for two years. My job in Saint Lucia as Project Officer is to ensure the smooth implementation of projects in the field. I liaise with project partners like the Forestry Department and Saint Lucia National Trust to ensure that all resources needed for the projects are made available. The most fun part of my job is partaking in the project implementation out in the field; getting to go out with the Forestry Department. I'll take being outdoors any day over being stuck in the office!
What did you do before coming to work at Durrell?
Now that's interesting. I am employed by Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) and seconded by Durrell two days a week. My post at SLNT is Programme Assistant – Conservation. In this post I manage our offshore islands; conducting biosecurity to ensure that they remain free of invasive species. I work alongside the Forestry Department to carry out species surveys and eradication where needed.
What were some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your career so far, and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenges thus far are having to work with multiple stakeholders, each operating on their own schedules and working in Fer De Lance (venomous snake) habitats. To overcome these challenges, I started liaising directly with the staff involved a week in advance to get an idea of their schedules and planned according to that. As for working within the Fer De Lance habitat, ensuring that I always venture out with the required PPE and never letting my guard down has helped tremendously.
What advice would you give to others thinking of pursuing a similar role?
Working in conservation can be daunting for some, especially women. My advice would be to keep an open mind and to look at it as a never-ending science class field trip.
Posted 9 March 2021