Dolphinwatch has just launched - find out more about the project and meet the team.

Dolphinwatch in Aberdeen – Meet the team!

2018 marks a very exciting year for RSPB Scotland in Aberdeen. Over the last five years, we have been raising the profile of Aberdeen as one of the best and most reliable places in Europe to see bottlenose dolphins while engaging people about marine wildlife and habitats and the threats they face. Now, thanks to funding from the ScottishPower Foundation and the Heritage Lottery Fund, we have a full-time, dedicated member of staff focusing on marine and coastal wildlife, as well as related conservation issues, based in Aberdeen. 

Meet Sadie:

Hi, my name is Sadie and I am the new Dolphinwatch Community Events Officer for RSPB Scotland. I will be responsible for a new suite of schools outreach, year-round local events, a dolphin festival in 2019 and the commissioning of a short film to raise awareness of marine species and how we can help them. But I will also look after the dolphin viewing at Torry Battery that has helped demonstrate how much interest there is in Aberdeen’s marine wildlife from both visitors to the city and particularly local communities.

Prior to my role with RSPB Scotland, I was a qualified teacher having worked in schools for 10 years before moving into conservation education as a Discovery and Learning officer with ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. I went on to work with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s (a Dolphinwatch partner organisation) Scottish Dolphin Centre as an education intern. This is where I decided I wanted to focus on marine conservation and engaging the public with how they can conserve their local wildlife.

I am very excited for this new role and all the opportunities it provides to engage and inspire people and especially children to enjoy and protect the amazing array of wildlife we have around Scotland. I am looking forward to developing and delivering the new marine-themed education programme to schools in the Torry area and across Aberdeen and seeing the excitement on the children’s faces when they learn just how big whales and dolphins can grow!

I am grateful to everyone – our partners, supporters and the local community – who have helped us lay the foundations for the new Dolphinwatch project. It was great to see so many of them at the special celebratory event to mark the official launch of this year’s dolphin viewing at Torry Battery.

Laura and Sadie

I am lucky to be working with Laura Watson the new Dolphinwatch Visitor Engagement Officer who will be leading the team at Torry Battery every Thursday-Sunday from 11am-6pm (weather permitting) to provide information, binoculars and telescopes to help people have one of the most amazing and memorable wildlife encounters possible in Scotland. We will be inspiring people to feel empowered to help the environment with a range of exciting activities and events, such as monthly beach cleans and rockpooling.

Laura has an MSc Wildlife Biology and Conservation and her background includes an internship with the Sea Watch Foundation in Wales and a research assistant role monitoring dolphins in Montenegro.

This is what Laura said about her new role: “When I saw the opportunity to work with RSPB Scotland on a marine project in Aberdeen I couldn’t resist applying and when I found out the job was mine – I was ecstatic. All conservation is important to me, but marine conservation is particularly close to my heart. I am really looking forward to spending my summer working at such a hotspot for dolphin activity and engaging visitors with information about these amazing animals while raising awareness about the threats our oceans and its inhabitants face.”

We look forward to having a great summer up at Torry Battery and meeting members of the public to enjoy the spectacle of the bottlenose dolphins together!

Dolphinwatch is a ScottishPower Foundation and Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funded project led by RSPB Scotland in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, Whale & Dolphin Conservation (WDC) and the Aberdeen Harbour Board. Find out more here.

The Dolphinwatch team is already taking school bookings for the autumn term and starting to work with community groups on ideas for events. You can keep up to date with all aspects of the new project on Facebook, Twitter or using #RSPBDolphinwatch and #DolphinsABDN.

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