Marine biologist, ocean advocate, wildlife guide and SunButter ambassador Alice Forrest shares how she got to where she is and what keeps her going.
How did you get into what you’re doing?
I actually started in this job after meeting the awesome founders of Sunbutter Tom and Sacha! I was looking for a way to work in my field (marine biology) and was feeling disillusioned with the world of science and academia. So it was a gamechanger to learn about work as an expedition guide, taking people to wild places and teaching them about the wildlife (and hopefully using it as a platform to create change).
In a broader sense, I got involved in marine conservation because I spent time in the ocean, was constantly astounded by the magic to be experienced there, and wanted to be part of protecting it and caring for it. To me it feels like a responsibility to give back to this planet that gives us so much!
Have you ever had a scary experience?
All the time!! I think if you're not scared frequently then you're not making the most of this one wild and precious life. I try to do things that scare me as often as possible, most recently that has been driving Zodiacs through ice in Antarctica and learning to paraglide, but it doesn't have to be something over the top. Just getting outside your comfort zone is the best place to learn and grow.
What’s your most touching experience?
While visiting Tonga several years ago, I was snorkelling with a particularly curious baby humpback whale. She swam right up next to me, twirling and almost dancing under the water. We locked eyes and for a moment we twirled and danced together. It's moments like those that keep me motivated forever to keep protecting the ocean, just to protect that one magical baby whale.
What’s your advice for anyone wanting to get involved?
Do what you love doing, don't let people tell you that you need to have a "real job" or that there's a certain path you need to be following. Don't limit yourself, and aim for exceptional goals. Volunteer with groups that are already working in the field that you're interested in, whether that's dive cleanups or monkey conservation or environmental engineering. Never stop learning.
What’s your message/mission statement?
Protect what you love. Get out into nature, interact with wild creatures, get salty or breathe in fresh mountain air. Connect to your backyard or to the most remote locations. And remember that we are an integral and connected part of it all. Falling in love with this magical planet we live on is the best motivation to keep fighting to protect it.