Zoe Walker

Hi! My name is Zoe Walker, I’m 27 years old, and grew up in Canada’s Yukon Territory but have most recently been living in Northern Norway.

Since doing my Divemaster in Utila at the age of 18 I’ve been going back and forth between Polar science/research, a Master’s in Coastal and Marine Management, tropical marine ecology, and SCUBA diving. I’ve taken some interesting side steps such as being the cook on a sailboat in Greenland, spending a year working in a youth detention facility in Canada, and working as a Northern Lights guide and photographer in Norway, which has added depth and perspective to my understanding of the importance of environmental integrity.

I am SO excited about this contest and the opportunity to finally do my IDC because then I can combine my love of research, teaching, tourism, and adventure into one glorious activity! My current dive kit has been assembled piece by piece over many years from a collection of my parent’s equipment, second hand sports stores, and rescued items, so a new kit that spends more time working than out for repairs would be phenomenal.

To learn more about my research and work please check out zoewalker.ca

Some other facts about me: I love crafts and once knit an anatomically correct copepod, I’m one of the shortest people in my family at 6 feet tall (182 cm), and I am physically incapable of not petting a dog within arms reach.

How I’m being the difference?

How i´m being different?

I live, work, and thrive in the ‘in between’. In between Polar research and policy, in between ecology and conservation, in between tourism and education, in between the Arctic and the Tropics, in between people and the environments they impact. My time in the ‘in between’ has helped develop my greatest skill – connecting. Connecting academic disciplines, connecting people, and connecting ideas to strengthen, empower, and create change.

I have worked non-stop to develop my understanding of people, place, and problem, and have finely tuned my interpersonal and educational skills. My joyously extroverted personality is well suited to turning potentially ordinary moments into engaging, educational, empowering experiences. I hope this sparks people to do what they think is the most right thing for our environment and society based on their personal values. I have committed large parts of my life to marine research and conservation, but I understand that for many (if not most) people that isn’t possible. So, I seek to encourage people I interact with – both personally and professionally – to find an issue they feel strongly about, and connect it to their regular practice.

Through my research, Divemastering, adventure guiding, teaching, and global travels I have connected with, and learned from a vast kaleidoscope of people. From my experience I have learned that many people feel disconnected from the social and ecological systems around them. Unable to connect with the high-level environmental policy debates, or the implications of marine plastic pollution, or the reality of the Climate Crisis, and that’s where I see myself as most valuable to society. My broad and diverse background allows me to provide insight, answer questions, find solutions, and be a human face of environmental science; for some people, that makes all the difference.

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