Meet Juzah Zammit-Ross

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Ō Tū Wharekai wetland ranger.

Job description: 

I work on a range of conservation work in Ō Tū Wharekai, including biodiversity monitoring, water quality testing, working with stakeholders and members of the community and working with scientists to name a few things.

Work background: 

I have worked in conservation for around 10 years and I have done a range of work from; pest eradication, island biosecurity, threatened plant management, island restoration, running volunteer trips, yellow-eyed penguin monitoring, weed control, dune restoration, vegetation monitoring, running a native nursery and snipe translocation to name a few things. I have been lucky to have worked in some of New Zealand’s most wild places, like on the Chatham islands, Subantarctic islands and Muttonbird islands. 

Favourite part of job: 

I love working on offshore islands, far away from civilization with a great team of people. Seeing amazing wildlife and plants. I love seabirds, particularly albatross and petrels.

Least favourite part of job: 

Sitting in front of the computer for too long.

A quick story about a job well done: 

I ran two successful trips for local teenagers on the Chatham Islands to visit and work on one of the offshore islands. They stayed in the hut on the island and assisted DOC staff with Chatham Petrel work for 4 days. The main task was blocking the entrance to Chatham Petrel burrows to prevent Broadbill Prion from taking over their nests. We had to wear petrel boards (flat square boards with snowboarding bindings) strapped to our feet, to prevent us from collapsing the burrows. Both trips went very well, the teens had a great time and we received a lot of positive feedback from them and their families.

A (humorous) story about a job that went badly and what you learned: 

I recently went up to Ō Tū Wharekai wetland to do the monthly water quality monitoring, which involves collecting water samples from five different streams. I was unloading the equipment at the first stream and realized that I had forgotten the long stick with the jug on the end for collecting water samples. I was very disappointed because it is such a long way to drive up to O Tu Wharekai. I managed to improvise by using a wooden planting stake, my drink bottle and some cable ties for collecting the water.However, I then secured the drink bottle up the wrong way with the cable ties which made it even more difficult to collect the water samples. Somehow, I managed to make it work, even though it meant getting very wet and the job took a lot longer than it normally would. I will make sure I never forget the proper collecting stick and jug again.

  • Post Graduate Diploma of Science (Ecology)
  • Bachelor of Science (Ecology)
Interests outside work: 

Bushwalking, gardening, beach combing, playing with my dog, spending time with friends and family, bird watching and exploring wild places.

Juzah is an Ō Tū Wharekai Wetland Ranger for DOC. Image: LEARNZ.