Natalie Palmer – Partnership Manager
As Partnership Manager for the Moray Firth Coastal Partnership, leading on stakeholder engagement, community consultation activities and partnership working, Natalie utilises a collaborative approach in her work. Previously a senior environmental planner who has worked in various countries and legislative jurisdictions, she has applied and interpreted various planning and environmental management acts for private, public and academic institutions. Originally from the Beauly Firth area of the Moray Firth, Natalie has been applying all that she has learnt as a practitioner to the sustainable development of the Moray Firth. This includes working to conserve the coastal environment, supporting local initiatives and promoting the sustainable use of our seas.
Joanne is a Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Born in the Lake District, she moved north of the border in 2012 to live amongst the spectacular scenery, wildlife and people of the Highlands. She is an ambassador for the region and actively promotes sustainable development in the area through her current role as the Strategic Business Development Manager for the Port of Cromarty Firth. Her interests include balancing the needs of business, communities and wildlife to create growth that benefits all, and educating the future workforce in the complexities of modern business and social responsibility.
Born and raised in Wick, Sarah has a strong connection to the fishing industry. Since graduating from Heriot Watt with a degree in Marine Biology Sarah has worked in various aspects of the fishing industry including a research position studying the local brown crab and lobster fishery in Orkney through to the commercial side working with seafood exporter Scrabster Seafoods Ltd. In her current job Sarah supports groups and businesses apply for funding to support the sustainable development of our coastal communities and maritime industries as a Development Officer for the Highland Council. In her spare time she can be found travelling the coast enjoying life in her campervan.
The first part of Ian’s career was at sea in the Merchant Navy as a deck officer, then coming ashore to both commercially and technically operate ships of all types worldwide, before moving into the offshore industry. As a consultant Naval Architect Ian designed several mooring and pipeline systems in the UK and worldwide, project managed a number of cutting edge UK oil exporting systems, sat on industry marine committees and acted as the Marine Technical Authority for a number of UK FPSOs. Ian has had a lifelong interest in marine wildlife and since early retirement volunteers in several local charities; he has a special interest in marine planning and the sustainability of the Moray Firth and its coastal communities.
Alice started her working life as a primary school teacher but found herself using holidays to volunteer on marine and coastal research projects around the world. She formalised the decision to shift careers with a studentship at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and a Masters of Research at Heriot Watt University. Originally from the United States, Alice stayed on after her studies and moved to the Moray Firth in 2007 for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Aberdeen and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) to look at making research more accessible to the public. This role combined her love of teaching with her passion for all things marine, and the citizen science Shorewatch programme was born, supporting volunteers to carry out surveys for whales and dolphins from land-based sites around Scotland. She has never looked back; in her current role with WDC, Alice manages the database for the Shorewatch Programme. She feels strongly about making data accessible and likes nothing more than a well-organised spreadsheet!
Crawford’s interest in the marine environment stems back to childhood where family holidays were spent exploring remote islands on the West Coast of Scotland for weeks on end. Originally from South Lanarkshire, Crawford moved to the north-east in 2011 to study at the University of Aberdeen in Marine and Coastal Resource Management and latterly an MSc in Environmental Partnership Management in 2017. Shortly after his studies, Crawford accepted a research position with the University of Edinburgh using innovative methods to capture stakeholder visions for the city shoreline, before being seconded to the Clyde Marine Planning Partnership using a similar approach to engage youg adults in marine spatial planning. Gravitating back to the north-east, Crawford is now a project manager at East Grampian Coastal Partnership running beach cleans and environmental education through the ‘Turning the Plastic Tide’ marine litter campaign. If you don’t see him on the beach, you’ll find him in the hills!