Hi, my name is Katie Nichols.
I have spent the last two years studying all things environmental. I am in the last year of my ecology degree at the University of Otago. I am already performing animal husbandry in preparation for the lab research I aim to do in my marine science honours next year. I am very keen to keep studying marine ecology wherever it takes me across the world. In the future, I aim to focus my research in coral reef restoration or conservation of marine ecosystems to combat Climate Change.
In my spare time, I am working with environmental volunteer groups or helping other postgraduate students with their fieldwork. Most importantly, I am an event coordinator with Our Seas Our Future where we organise and raise awareness around New Zealand's polluted shorelines.
In order to accomplish all this, I have taken a break from my sport. Previously I was an avid flat water sprint kayaker for New Zealand from 2014-2019. Depending on the year I was consistently ranked within the top 5 in New Zealand for my age group. I still continue to go to the gym regularly and play social netball to keep my fitness up if I ever decide to return to kayaking.
A quote that has helped me along this journey that I often use and hope you do too is "Why not?" - most people. Why not do this? Why not apply for this? Whenever I received criticism for doing something out of the ordinary or putting myself forward for an opportunity, I always ask "Why not?" More often than not this always stumps the judgment and quickly turns you towards encouragement. In fact, I likely wouldn't be in the Pinnacle Programme without having this philosophy when I applied.
Overall, I am always looking for opportunities that will push me to learn and experience more of my passions. Pinnacle Programme has exposed me to such opportunities that have helped me advance towards my goals.