What employment sector do you work in?
How long have you had a green job for nature?
Please describe the work that you do.
My work is a combination of fieldwork and deskwork.
The fieldwork is done on behalf of client companies across the island of Ireland. I take part in bat surveys, terrestrial surveys, and habitat surveys. The data from this work is added to Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIAs) which our clients incorporate into their development plans.
Deskwork mostly involves writing reports on these field surveys. I am currently being trained in drawing field maps in GIS which are also incorporated into these desk studies.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I enjoy learning about how ecology is applied in a practical sense. I like learning about GIS and how to carry out field surveys. I also like the challenge of teaching myself how to ID animal and plant taxa.
What inspired you into this career?
I have had a passion for nature since childhood but for a long time I did not consider a career in ecology as maths and science were not my strong point growing up. During the pandemic, I did a remote Masters in Environmental Resource Management with University College Dublin (UCD). By the end of the course, I knew I wanted to make a career in this to help to deal with the huge environmental challenges we are facing and will be facing for generations to come.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
I am currently trying to train myself on ID’ing birds and plants. This is time-consuming and often seems overwhelming given the sheer extent of taxa out there to study.
I also moved across the country to start my job so I am having to juggle the challenges of work with making new friends and looking after my accommodation (I am currently living alone).
What education/training did you have?
I have an MSc in Environmental Resource Management with UCD.
I have done a few workshops with the Irish National Biodiversity Data Centre.
I have volunteered with BirdWatch Ireland’s Little Tern Breeding Project and also with the National Hen Harrier Survey.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
Focus on learning as much about taxa or else a particular taxa as you can. Decide if you want to be a generalist or else focus on birds, mammals, plants, etc. Take the time to study online resources and to get outside and apply your skills in the real world.