A 2015 Young Alumni Award nominee:
Courtney Huisman, a 2011 Geography graduate has made it her mission to teach people that an endangered species is worth more alive than it is dead.
Huisman is project coordinator for Littlefeet Environmental in Jersey, Channel Islands. Littlefeet Environmental was established as an environmental consultancy to aid businesses in setting up environmental management systems to monitor and reduce their company's impacts on the environment.
In particular Huisman runs the The Costa Maya Turtle Project in Mexico. For years locals were killing endangered and protected leatherback marine turtles to sell on the black market.
Huisman’s project works together with communities who once hunted the ancient animals, and teaches the economic and environmental worth of each individual marine turtle. She works to emphasize the ecological, economic, cultural and social value of marine turtles through tourism, conservation, diving and community participation. All of which can be seen as an ongoing source of income rather than a ‘one off’ deal. In essence she strives to show that a turtle is worth more alive than dead.
Her journey to save the turtles has included significant sacrifice. Throughout the project, Huisman invested much of her wages for the past three years. However the return she received from her work, both in terms of environmental impact, and positive relationships formed has been immeasurable.