Meet Robyn Clements from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Robyn is currently a Senior Survey Technologist in the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of Canada. She has advanced diplomas in Marine Geomatics and Cartography & Digital Mapping from the Centre of Geographic Sciences in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia.
Robyn was nominated by a proud friend to be featured on Women Offshore. With more than 10 years of experience working on the water, Robyn shared with us what inspired her career and some of her favorite memories at sea:
Robyn, please start out by briefly describing what your duties are in your current job.
“My duties change from project to project. They include surface navigation and subsea positioning of vessels and ROVs, management of survey personnel on board vessels, overseeing collection and processing of data, as well as, final reporting and deliverables to clients.”
Which part of the world do you work in?
“I have had the opportunity to work in Europe and Southern California, yet typically spend my time on the Atlantic Ocean, off the east coast of Canada.”
What inspired you to work on the water?
“I have always loved the ocean. I would spend summers at my grandparents’ house where I would plead for them to take me to the beach or other areas where I could spend my time near the water. As I got older I decided I didn’t want to spend my days in an office, staring at a computer all day. Although my job is very much in front of a computer, my office is constantly moving and allowing me to see the world.”
Please share a memorable experience you’ve had at sea.
“My most memorable experiences seem to always relate to the marine life that cross our paths: Porpoises swimming full-tilt in the wake of the bow, sea turtles and sunfish, to pods of orcas passing through on a sunny calm afternoon on the Grand Banks. People pay good money in hopes of having these experiences on chartered trips, while I am paid to see them!”
What motivates you to continue working on the water if it’s a long-term career for you?
“I love the adventure and challenges of working on the water and I love that the job allows me to travel and explore the world. Meeting new people and seeing new places is all the motivation I need.”
What challenges have you faced in your career?
“Over the years there has been a bit of a challenge in being the only female on a boat with 25-30 men. Having the feeling that I needed to prove myself and my capabilities on every vessel I boarded because of my gender, while others were taken at their word. It only ever takes a day or two to fit in and become a part of the team. Having a personality and a sense of humour is key in this industry. I am super pleased that it is more and more common to see other women in the the industry, and, in a variety of different capacities.”
What do you think can be done in your industry to encourage more women to pursue similar careers?
“I think promoting the industry to younger generations with programs such as Techsploration, and organizations such as Women Offshore, will enable our numbers to grow. Social media, school presentations and word of mouth about how rewarding jobs like mine can be, are great tools in educating young women on a world of possibilities for future careers.”
Thank you, Robyn, for answering our questions. We appreciate that you shared your career with us and wish you the best of luck. Stay safe out there!