Jordan Aria Housiaux is a Marine Educator with the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre and an MSc Marine Science Candidate at the University of Otago.
What do you do on an average work day?
If I'm conducting field work, I am either out on a boat photographing and tagging sharks, or in the lab and the office. Otherwise, a typical day involves running science projects with high school students, usually involving shark ecology and anatomy. I have a passion for working with Māori students especially, as we are well under-represented in the science fields.
What did you study at school? And after high school?
At school I studied biology and mathematics till Level 3 NCEA. My favourite subjects were actually History and PE. At University, I studied a Bachelor of Science in Statistics and Marine Biology, and I am now completing an MSc in Marine Science at Otago University - exploring the murky world of the sevengill shark, Notorynchus cepedianus, in southern New Zealand.
Was your study directly related to what you do now?
Not directly, but a combination of the maths and science subjects I was interested in, in addition to my affinity for the ocean, photography, and whanaungatanga seemed to come together to shape the work I now do.
What would you like to share with young women who are thinking about their career choices right now?
If you have a passion for something, pursue it, regardless of whether you fit the typical mould. Fortune favours the bold.
What are some of your career highlights so far?
Tagging and photographing white sharks and sevengill sharks in beautiful locations such as Mossel Bay, South Africa and Rakiura, Aotearoa.
Working with rangatahi to develop student-lead marine science projects outside of the classroom.
Why do you believe engaging in STEM – whether it’s working in the field, studying it or just educating one’s self around the issues – is important to New Zealand?
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are all dynamic and evolving subjects; there is always more to be understood about the world around us.
In Aotearoa, we are surrounded by unique environments and people, with new issues and questions emerging each day. Engaging in STEM subjects advances our comprehension of these issues; from the effects of climate change or natural disasters, to human health and function, the range of information revealed through STEM subjects is highly important and beneficial.
Why is it important to have more women working in STEM?
Diversity in any field provides alternate perspectives that ultimately lead to greater ideas and outcomes. Incorporating the knowledge of people with different life experiences, backgrounds, and cultures will strengthen and advance the capacity of understanding we have in all STEM subjects.
Jordan Aria Housiaux is a Marine Educator with the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre and MSc Marine Science Candidate, University of Otago. You can follow Jordan on Twitter at @Jordan_Aria_.
This profile is part of our series of girls and women in STEM.
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