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June 3, 2020 - Playing the guitar at sea

Mark Fenwick, DTIS technician

Where are you from?

Featherston, in the sunny Wairarapa.

How long have you been working at NIWA?

11 years

What is your role onboard? 

I am on board as a technician. I help look after the Deep Towed Imaging System (DTIS) from setting up the software and downloading the data. During DTIS runs, Diana Macpherson and I take turns identifying things that we see and entering the data. I also help with multi-coring and dredging. 

What did you study to become a technician?

I studied marine biology and conservation for my undergrad and the genetics of freshwater mussels for my masters.

Do you prefer working on the water or on land? 

I like both, as long as I’m not stuck in my office for too many days in a row! I enjoy being at sea, but I am doing more freshwater work these days.

Where do you work on the ship and who do you work with?

I work with Steve George, Diana Macpherson and the crew in the hydro dry lab. This lab is converted into the DTIS lab for these type of voyages.

What do you do when you are not on your shift? 

Eat (far to much) watch videos, play guitar read and do a bit of writing.

Where is the ship at the moment and what are the conditions at sea?

We are just north of the Pukaki Rise in 667m of water, with 23knots of wind and about 3m of swell. 

What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a career in your field?

Work on things that you love to do, turn your passion into your job and don’t sweat the little stuff.


Marine Ecologist