What employment sector do you work in?
How long have you had a green job for nature?
Please describe the work that you do.
I am a Chartered Geologist and Chartered Scientist who consults in a range of areas. My Ph. D. and university/museum research career was in palaeobiology and I continue to publish and also edit for academic journals. I have a particular interest in geodiversity, the abiotic aspects of ecosystems. I spent a couple of years working on river hydrogeomorphology surveys between 2015 and 2017. I have also done quite a bit of freelance upland bird and vegetation surveying in the Scottish Highlands.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I am a self-employed freelancer, so I can adjust the balance of work I do. I especially enjoy fieldwork and data analysis. I was never going to be someone who would be happy to trade my scientific and technical skills role for a managerial role, so leaving academia and focusing on freelance work helped me keep the focus on what I wanted to be doing.
What inspired you into this career?
It is a bit of an accident I ended up being an Earth Scientist, as I wanted to study physics and astronomy but my calculus was not up to it. I did turn out to be a good programmer and statistician, which allowed me to spend 15 productive years in universities and museums before moving on.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
The demands of the corporate university model were not for me, so I had to leave that as a career path.
What education/training did you have?
Ph. D. in Geophysical Sciences and enjoying fieldwork. I am also a Mountain Leader (Summer) and work as a first-aider at events such as downhill MTB races. I now spend a lot of time working as a supervisor and assessor on Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and have run outdoor equipment stores and work as a freelance outdoor instructor. I make extensive use of my geological and environmental knowledge.
My birding and vegetation survey skills developed from my life-long interest in natural history.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
Ecology and environmental management rely on a wide range of skills and knowledge. I’ve met many physicists and chemists who have found that their subjects are highly relevant to these areas. You don’t have to be a field-worker if you don’t want to. Data analysis and remote sensing are vital components of the work too.