Eva Prendergast is a polar scientist, photographer, naturalist and marine mammal specialist – and she or he’s bringing all of her experience to Antarctica as one in all Intrepid’s on-board consultants for our 2023 season. Here’s what she’s most wanting ahead to on her upcoming expeditions.
Eva Prendergast has at all times liked the ocean. While her childhood pals have been fawning over celebrities and musicians, Eva was obsessive about a bottlenose dolphin in Ireland referred to as Fungie. She spent all her spare time studying books in regards to the ocean and making an attempt to determine how she may flip her ardour right into a profession.
“My school was encouraging us to be a doctor, be a lawyer, be something that society tells you to be; studying whales was definitely not one of those things,” Eva (initially from the UK) says from her new house in Reykjavik, Iceland. “I wanted to learn about Antarctica and the Arctic and about how to help preserve them. It took a while for me to find a path and realise this could be a career.”
Eva accomplished her Masters in Polar Science and began working at a few of the most prestigious universities and museums on the planet. According to her, “Everything came together – my love of the ocean, polar regions and whales.”
These days she’s a polar scientist by commerce, however she has additionally taken on a wide range of roles within the expedition business: photographer, common naturalist, marine mammal specialist, citizen science coordinator, head of science, and assistant expedition chief. And now she’s on the brink of set sail once more with Intrepid.
“I’m so excited to work with Intrepid in Antarctica on the Ocean Endeavour in 2023,” she says. “I’ll be on board for the majority of the season – four months.” Spending 1 / 4 of a yr at sea will not be for everybody, and Eva admits the road between work and life can get just a little blurred (“it’s not like you clock off each day”), however the rewards are price it. “This isn’t a job for me,” she says. “It’s what I love to do.”
Along with whales, the ocean and the planet’s polar areas, Eva’s different ardour is science communications, and she or he’s wanting ahead to incorporating that into her Intrepid expeditions. “Science communications involves sharing science with a larger audience beyond academia,” she says. “It allows the general public to learn about what’s often pretty complex subject matters, but in a very digestible way.”
And whereas Eva has had the privilege of visiting Antarctica just a few instances, she recognises the importance of the journey for her fellow travellers. “For most people, going to Antarctica is at the top of their bucket list; they’ve been saving for years to go there,” she says. “That energy when you’re with them is unparalleled, so you want to make that experience as memorable as possible.”
As a wildlife lover, one in all Eva’s favorite issues about her job is whale recognizing with passengers. “Whether it’s spotting a whale in the wild for the first time or a new species they haven’t seen, sharing that in such a pristine environment as Antarctica never gets old,” Eva says. And although it sounds apparent, Eva finds visitors are sometimes shocked at how – effectively – massive whales are. “Hearing the audible gasps from guests when they realise the sheer scale of them is really something else.”
Antarctica is a tough place to journey to responsibly, so Eva recommends doing all of your analysis earlier than reserving a visit. “It has so much to do with the tour operator you go with, and that they’re aware of the local rules, regulations, and laws,” she says. “Intrepid’s Ocean Endeavour ship is under the IAATO – the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators – so it adheres to all those guidelines of travelling in a respectful and responsible way.”
If you’ve been umming and ahhing about whether or not or to not journey to Antarctica, Eva has one piece of recommendation: go. “It really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and is something that you’ll never regret doing,” she says. “If you keep waking up thinking ‘I really want to do this’, pull the trigger and go.”