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Beyond Academia

CIEEM sessions at the British Ecological Society A-Level Summer School 2018

12 July, Margam Park, South Wales

On Thursday 12th July 2018 our Project Officer for Wales (Diana Clark) led a group of fantastic CIEEM member volunteers to deliver sessions on ‘Careers Beyond Academia’ at the BES Summer School for A-Level students, held in the FSC Discovery Centre at Margam in South Wales.

The Summer School concept has been designed by BES to immerse a select group of 16 – 17 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds in the joys of working in ecology – from academic research to intertidal marine ecology, from moth trapping and quadrats to surveying for bats – all packed in to a single week of fun.

We kicked off our sessions with a brief introduction to CIEEM and what its purpose is, followed by a 1-minute ‘potted history’ from each volunteer on how their career path worked out.  Emphasis was placed on the multiple path options available to arrive at many varied careers.

We spent an hour visiting part of Margam Park, viewing the site from the perspective of an NGO reserves manager, an LPA planning ecologist and an ecological consultant, before returning to the classroom for a debrief – and cake!  The rest of the session included brief talks on turning WWII bunkers into bat houses, becoming an entomologist, the role an LPA ecologist has and getting green infrastructure into our urban environment.  We also discussed the skills employers require from new graduates and topped off the day with an evening bat walk, checking out horseshoe and pipistrelle emergences en route to the lake for a show of Daubentons’ acrobatics.

Huge thanks to all who assisted in making this event so successful, including Alex Ellis (Arcadis), Sean Hathaway (Swansea Council), Nia Howells (Cardiff Museum), Kailey O’Brien (Arcadis), Laura Palmer (Neath Port Talbot Council), Julie Player (Arcadis), Ellen Quinton (Arcadis), Sarah Simons (Arcadis) and Anna Sutcliffe (Biodiversity Solutions).  Also to Karen Devine at BES for her fabulous, unwavering support.

Author: Diana Clark MCIEEM, CIEEM Project Officer (Wales)


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