Clare Marshall worked in the social work sector for over a decade when she decided to return to education and completely change the direction of her career. She completed an FdSC Marine Science at Falmouth Marine School and is now a Zooplankton Taxominist for Cefas.
Clare worked for Leicestershire County Council as a Childcare Support Worker for over 10 years. During that time she developed a passion for diving and gained her Master Scuba Dive Instructor qualifications and took a position at the European Diving centre in Turkey. Whilst in Turkey she discovered DEKAMER Sea Turtle Conservation Project which inspired her to enrol onto a Marine Science degree at Falmouth Marine School.
Clare said: “when I was researching marine based courses, Falmouth really stood out to me. It is the perfect location to study marine biology, with the River Fal and several beaches just a stones throw away, its makes for the perfect outdoor classroom. My second year project was in collaboration with the Fowey Harbour Commissioners and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust: Mapping the Extent and Biodiversity of Zostera marina at a Voluntary Marine Conservation Area. The college provided so many opportunities to work with leading experts, which really enhanced my studies and presented future opportunities.”
One of those opportunities was a 6 week internship with DEKAMER Sea Turtle Conservation project in Turkey, the very place which inspired her to follow a marine science career path. Claire commented: “I was delighted when I discovered that you had to complete a work placement as part of the course. I contacted DEKARMA immediately and could believe my luck when they offered me the summer internship.”
Clare continued: “I am now a Zooplankton Taxonomist at Cefas. I work in a laboratory identifying zooplankton species from samples collected for government and commercial contracts. I also participate in plankton, fisheries and MPA surveys and work with a multitude of other agencies. I love going to work each day, the degree course at Falmouth Marine School helped me change my career and get the job I always dreamed of.”
Craig Baldwin, Marine Science Course manager said: “It is truly inspiring to listen to Clare’s story. She had a dream and made it come true, not only does she now work in the marine sector but landing a position with Cefas is a real achievement. We have students from all over the country, different in ages and prior journeys but they all share a passion for marine science.”