Meet Arabella Willing, Maldives Marine Biologist and EarthCheck Coordinator
Of all the little-known hotel jobs we’ve featured this month, Arabella Willing, Resident Marine Biologist and EarthCheck Coordinator at Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, just might have the most envy-inducing position of all.
Arabella runs the hotel’s scuba diving and snorkeling program, which is conducted at the onsite five-star PADI dive center. She also helps lead conservation efforts on-property through the EarthCheck program. She teaches guests, associates, and locals how to preserve, protect and nurture the environment in her weekly workshop; past topics include “Measuring Coral” and “Identifying Marine Life.” And she gets to do all of this on a beautiful tropical island with year-round average temperatures of 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Sounds amazing, right?
But beaches and natural beauty aside, Hadahaa is a special place, and Arabella has the right tools to keep it that way. Hadahaa has one of the world’s healthiest coral reefs, which is home to more than 125 endangered species, including the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle.
Arabella has been interested in the intersection between marine life and sustainability since her student days. She studied Marine Biology at St. Andrews University and was a volunteer teacher in the North Maldives, spreading the world about the dangerous effects of coral bleaching. So she’s not just snorkeling with our guests, she’s making a positive impact on the Maldives through her sustainability efforts at Hyatt.
In her blog, Arabella shares some of her favorite stories from her work on the island. In February, for example, she made a spur-of-the-moment decision to swim with a group of 12 bottlenose dolphins. She might have destroyed her cell phone in the process, but it was completely worth it.
“I spend my days swimming through the iridescent waters of the Indian Ocean exploring coral reefs of exquisite beauty,” Arabella said. “As the Resident Marine Biologist and EarthCheck coordinator at Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, I undoubtedly have one of the best jobs in the world.” We have to agree!