- Check that out ^ pretty exciting, really!
It's what I've been aiming for for a long, long time, and the reward of achieving it is great. Bear with me while I give a brief summary of my time leading up to this:
- Graduated from Zoology at Glasgow - 2009. Left feeling very disheartened about employable skills. No jobs...but then found a masters that fitted the bill...
- September 2010 - started my MSc at Edinburgh Napier. Had worked the previous nine months at a small farm shop near where I lived. Stayed there one day a week while studying, and loved the course at Napier, minus a few hiccups. Positives: Left with a clearer vision of what I wanted to work in, and actually felt capable of it as well! My dissertation research at Dundreggan for Trees for Life was an absolute highlight.
- September 2011 - Started to work three days a week at the farm shop, at times getting a bit low due to wanting to work so much and not being given any opportunities.
- In November 2011 I started going out into the field with a local ecologists. Learnt how to survey for otters among other things.
- In June 2012 I received funding to carry out research into changing otter diets by the charity PTES <-- visit that hyperlink, amazing charity so they are! which is now shown here: www.ptes.org/otters_in_scotland.pdf
- Then when I handed this in I was stuck again so I decided two things - I would use this time to volunteervolunteervolunteerlearnlearnlearn, and I would also actually go on a Trees for Life work week, as I had wanted to do for a loooong time! See a previous post for how that went (hint: AMAZING). And the other volunteering/education included:
- bryophyte courses with The Wildlife Information Centre (TWIC)
- BTO breeding bird survey - including a fantastic training day at Kirkton Manor
- doing a bit of volunteering with a local bat expert David Dodds (check out his bat blog - it's brill)
- Undertaking toad rescue with Lothian Amphibian and Reptile Group (LARG)
- And carrying out otter surveys for the fantastic team at the Falls of Clyde SWT reserve - visit now...the new visitor centre is properly brilliant. Find them here: http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/reserve/falls-of-clyde/
- All of which was completely brilliant and along the way I have met some utterly fantastic and truly inspirational people. I've made friends, laughed till I've cried, held newts (palmate) and bats (noctules), seen wonderful animals, admired, exclaimed, wondered at, and just had a brilliant time! And now....I have a job!
To say that I have waited a long time for this is a slight understatement, and really it's not been about waiting, it's been about fighting for the result. Maybe now I'm all fought out, but I doubt it - tomorrow I'm running my first event with my local mammal group (Lothian and Borders Mammal Group) - otter survey skills, and I can't wait to get out there and meet a new bunch of friendly and enthusiastic people.
And then we can all go off to sniff and piles of poo!
(For those of you who don't get that - I'm also running another training event on the 15th of June...come along!)