Monika Peltz OET

Monika Pelz

Education and Engagement Coordinator
Ocean Networks Canada

Tell us about your work/ research. What kinds of things do you do?

As K-12 education coordinator with Ocean Networks Canada, my main work goals are to help people access and use Ocean Networks Canada’s data. This means my work can take many forms, from creating lesson plans, activities and making games, to visiting classrooms, presenting at conferences and even going to sea with Nautilus! Everyday is a bit different and my job allows me to be creative and stay busy. 

What sparked your initial interest in your career?

Initially, I envisioned myself as being a classroom teacher but I could never decide on what I wanted to teach. I like to explore many different things, and most importantly, share them with other people. This led me to look for other places I could be a teacher, but in a bit of a different way. I explored working for museums, aquariums, and of course, Ocean Networks Canada. 

Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?

I am most influenced by my family and my friends. Although that might seem like a cliche answer, I find that the people nearest to me are the most inspirational because they always take the time to support me, no matter what they might be going through. My dad is a particular inspiration to me, because he always puts those around him first, and can be guaranteed to make everyone laugh, too. 

What element of your work/ study do you think is the most fascinating?

I am always in awe of how little we really know about the ocean. Everyday, new data comes in that challenges what we think we know and what’s really happening in our world. This is especially true as we learn to combine science with lived experience and traditional knowledge. Data comes in many forms, and the more knowledge threads we can weave together, the better our understanding becomes. 

How did you get involved with Ocean Exploration Trust? How did you become part of the expedition team?

I am very lucky to have been invited to participate with Nautilus as a result of my work with Ocean Networks Canada. I am often humbled and grateful for the experiences and learning my job allows me. 

What other jobs led you to your current career?

Volunteering! I like to try many different things and explore many different roles so I tried to volunteer in as many unique jobs as I could. I’ve volunteered with Girl Guides of Canada, helped in commercial kitchens and in community events to name a few. This helped me find things I enjoyed and let me figure out what kind of work I wanted to be paid to do, before completely committing to it.

What are your degrees and certifications?

I hold a Bachelors of Education, with Distinction, from the University of Victoria and a Masters of Education from the University of Calgary. 

What are your hobbies?

Too many to mention! I like to try everything, so I have a new hobby and interest every 6 weeks or so.  I’m also really interested in learning what other people like to do, so I often try other people's hobbies with them to see if I like it.  For example, I have recently discovered I like crocheting but really dislike painting miniature figures (they are just too small!)

What advice would you give someone who wants to have a career like yours?

My advice is to always simply try, because you are already enough.  It’s enough to be an enthusiast, it's enough to be interested, it's enough to be willing, and it's enough to say yes (and no!) if something seems interesting to you. Schooling and experience will always come along, and you are already enough to handle it, so why not give it a try? 

"I’ve always loved the ocean because its one of the last great unknowns on this planet. It’s full of strange creatures and never-before-seen landscapes. I can’t wait to start looking at all the cool stuff hiding in the depths!" 


Monika participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions: