Julie-Beth McCarthy is originally from Gander, NL, Canada. Growing up on Newfoundland’s largest lake and an hour drive from the ocean was the beginning of her love of all things aquatic. Her father started taking her fly fishing when she was only one year old and she would sit quietly watching the water for hours. To this day the movement of waves on a shore is a soothing source of comfort for her.
She began her studies in conservation with a Biology degree from the University of Calgary. During this time she focused on Ecology and Zoology and had the opportunity to take a graduate level course at the Bamfield Marine Station.
After completing her Biology degree she headed to Australia, where she completed a certificate program in Wildlife Rehabilitation & Husbandry examining the conservation concerns of native Australian fauna first hand. She then travelled the country for 6 months. While backpacking she volunteered for Conservation Volunteers Australia in Uluru-Kata-Tjuta National Park where she helped to remove invasive buffel grass and got to live in the local aboriginal community. She also got to volunteer with WWF educating the public about sea turtle conservation and monitoring beaches for sea turtle clutches. Other ‘highlights’ include snorkeling on the outer Ningaloo Reef during the 2003 tsunami, almost getting bitten by a Western Brown snake, and developing an allergy to mangoes after working on a mango farm for six weeks!
After Australia, Julie-Beth decided to head back to the University of Calgary to study religions and their environmental ethics. This degree allowed her to bring together the biological, social, and ethical sides of conservation. Upon completion of her BA Julie-Beth was looking for the best fit for a MSc. Taking two years off to explore a variety of options; she became a Volunteer Leader with the Calgary/Banff chapter of CPAWS. In this capacity she became the marine conservation champion for the organisation initiating their first work on oceans through a sustainable seafood campaign and producing an article on marine conservation for the monthly newsletter.
In September 2009 Julie-Beth travelled to Oxford University, UK to begin studies for her MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management. This program examined the science, management, governance, law, ethics, and values related to the conservation of biodiversity. During this multi-disciplinary programme, she was encouraged to take a broad view on environmental issues and became known as the ‘marine conservation girl’. A firm believer in the need for scientists to engage with their local communities, she travelled home to NL for her dissertation research which explored the role that marine culture and heritage could play in marine planning. She strongly believes in the need for scientists to feed their research back into local systems and made to sure to do so with her dissertation work; producing a report for the Newfoundland marine management system including government, non-governmental groups, and local fishers. She is currently preparing a paper for submission to a peer-reviewed journal based on her MSc research and is involved in an international collaboration to identify 100 questions of global importance to marine conservation.
Julie-Beth now lives in Squamish, BC. In her free time she enjoys walking her dog (Charlie) and sometimes even her cat (Newton) along the coast with her fiancé (Ian). She is an avid sports enthusiast playing basketball, volleyball, soccer, and anything else she can get into. She also loves hiking, camping, and fly fishing. Reading is a huge passion and there are always piles of books around her house. When she can find some free time from these other interests she also likes to make her own jewelry, pottery, and doodle with some drawings – marine animals being her favourite to draw.