Category Archives: Geography

Student Case Study:  Carbon Offset Project Development

Name of Student: Tara Chaussalet

Job Title: Carbon Offset Project Development Intern

Company Name: Ambios Ltd

Type of Internship: Access to Internships (A2I)

Description of Company: Ambios Ltd provides nature conservation training in UK and EU via traineeships and volunteering opportunities. Our Mission is to ‘provide inspirational education, practical action, science and technology training and volunteering opportunities in nature conservation in the UK and abroad.’ We help people achieve their goals for nature, science, education and employment.

  1. What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

It was mainly a research based internship, with two main focuses: looking at the potential for tree planting at Lower Sharpham Farm to offset carbon emissions and finding alternative travel options to flying to the programme in Portugal.

  1. What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?

-Research on the options for tree planting schemes at the farm.
-Figures on the carbon sequestration rates for tree planting
-Research into alternative transport methods for the journey from Totnes to Coruche in Portugal
-Present figures on the emissions

  1. What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

Finding data on the emissions values of different transportation methods from Devon to Portugal and also data on the carbon sequestration potential of tree planting. I carried out internet searches on the potential options and finally found documents which enabled me to work out the values. As a result, I demonstrated to Ambios how harmful flying is and they are now looking at changing the business model to less harmful methods of travel or looking at generally less movement- perhaps focusing the work of the projects to the UK rather than abroad. Also they are looking at planting trees because I presented the positive benefits of this apart from just offsetting- air quality, water quality, biodiversity, mental health etc.

  1. What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

It was very challenging and carbon offsetting is a very complicated issue- something which I was not aware of before I started the internship. There was a huge lack of data for both sections of the internship which meant that it was difficult to locate documents I needed to find the information to present to Ambios.

  1. Skills Learnt 
  • Networking
  • Communication
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Decision making
  • Information technology
  1. Attributes Developed 
  • Confidence
  • Personal awareness
  • Logical thinking
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  1. Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector? 

“My internship was very challenging but extremely rewarding. I am able to see results of the research that I carried out and the figures that I calculated and presented on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration potential of trees. It was amazing to see that Ambios has taken on board suggestions that I made, from little things in waste management such as baking rather than buying biscuits in packaging to looking at changing the business model from movement to Europe by flying to more local projects or at least ones which involve less travelling and emissions as a consequence.”

  1. Employer Quote

“Tara is a very capable individual who has produced quality results and in so doing challenged our thinking about our organisational carbon impact. She has now completed her time with us and it has been excellent. Very valuable.” – Director, Ambios Ltd

Ambios – Employer Case Study

 

Name of Organisation:  Ambios

Description of Organisation: Ambios Ltd provides nature conservation training in UK and EU via traineeships and volunteering opportunities. Our Mission is to ‘provide inspirational education, practical action, science and technology training and volunteering opportunities in nature conservation in the UK and abroad.’ We help people achieve their goals for nature, science, education and employment.

Name of Employer:  Simon Roper

Job Title: Director

Internship Scheme used:  A2I, SBP

Employer subsidies (A2I) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Student Business Partnership (SBP) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Feedback:

We have  hired  a number of interns from the University of Exeter’s Internship scheme.

One intern was as a part-time Grant Funding & GiftIn-Kind Researcher and Bid Writer. The intelligent and dedicated individual  we chose managed to successfully juggle a complex and diverse work pattern. She balanced the demands of her studies while building networks and undertaking the research and bid-writing tasks we asked of her with amazing operational dexterity. Her overt enthusiasm is a credit to her and will undoubtedly support her future career. While with us, this enthusiasm for learning how to research specific funders in the context of our organisation’s mission was a great asset.

Our intern successfully undertook very detailed research into possible funders we might approach for assistance with a capital project at our nature conservation training farm in South Devon. This research is challenging, as funders can have a long list of criteria, any one of which can mean the applicant is unable to apply. Sorting through this data was a major task which our SBP completed well. This learning led to her formulating and proposing a written letter-form application to a specific Charitable Trust identified from her initial research. This letter was submitted in the Ambios Ltd name by the end of her time with us. In the context of what was about to unfold with Covid-19, and the response of the charitable sector (to reallocate their funding to Covid-19 emergency support), the bid was not successful on this occasion. It does, however, represent an asset which can be used to approach other funders when the time is right.  Our intern therefore leaves Ambios Ltd with that legacy for which we are very grateful. We have no doubt that there is bright and exciting future for her and we wish her well in her future endeavours.

We also recruited a Carbon Offset Project Development Officer and were very impressed with how prepared they were for the workplace. Our Intern looked at our carbon footprint in relation to our European mobility programmes. She proved to be an excellent asset to our organisation producing quality outputs which challenged our thinking, and which signposted an urgent need for change.

We recommend the Internship Scheme to other companies. It is very well managed and implemented.  We thoroughly enjoyed taking on an intern and hope to host more in the future.

Quote from Carbon Offset Project Development Officer Intern:

“I carried out internet searches on the potential options and finally found documents which enabled me to work out the values. As a result, I demonstrated to Ambios how harmful flying is and they are now looking at changing the business model to less harmful methods of travel or looking at generally less movement- perhaps focusing the work of the projects to the UK rather than abroad. Also they are looking at planting trees because I presented the positive benefits of this apart from just offsetting- air quality, water quality, biodiversity, mental health etc.”

 

Research Assistant – Coldhabour Mill Trust Ltd

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My responsibilities were to research the mill pond on the site to support a 1.8M renovation project and grant bids. The main details they wanted to know about the pond was, when it was built, how it was built and how it was used. To conduct this research I worked both at Coldharbour and visited local archives.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I was able to conduct research outside of a university classroom, and had the opportunity to go to archives and see the source material myself.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to find out when the pond was roughly built, and also provide a list of areas of future research so the next researcher would have a starting point. Despite the fact I found little evidence, what I did find was actually rather fundamental to the grant bids.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Problem solving, ability to work under pressure, focus on goals and outcomes

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Motivation, cultural awareness, independence

Research Support Intern – University of Exeter CLES

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My main role was recruiting and meeting with participants to take some data from them, and showing them how to use an app, as well getting feedback from them in a follow-up meeting a month later. I also collated this data, and helped to contribute to a research paper by analysing some qualitative responses and adding the introduction section. Moreover, I promoted the research at various events including the Staff Wellbeing Day.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I think my biggest achievement was being able run a small research collection study quite independently – I was daunted before starting it about the task at hand so have proved to myself it is possible.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I think it lightened the load of other members of the department who are more senior, as they had numerous projects, teaching etc. going on.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Ability to work under pressure, organisation, IT

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Initiative, motivation, logical thinking

Cognitive Abilities of Grey Squirrels Intern – University of Exeter

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

Coding videos and preparing the different nuts for the experiment and placing the cameras and replenishing the nuts in the apparatus.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I learned a lot in terms of analysis of data collected from animals and in particular using a Behaviour Observation software which has made me more confident in my ability to analyse different types of data in different circumstances.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I managed to help with creating a buffer of chopped nuts so that more time could be spent for marking the squirrels and analysing the information, I completed a third of the video analysis of the project which alleviated the workload of the other team members by leaving them to do only two thirds of the analysis.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Teamwork and collaboration, ability to work under pressure, IT

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence, initiative, motivation

Student Engagement and Employability – University of Exeter CLES

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

Completing tasks delegated by my line manager, assisting in activities regarding student engagement and employability within CLES. This included updating displays, compiling a database of placement opportunities and creating a mock-up of a website to showcase success stories of societies and groups associated with CLES.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I developed skills in efficient research techniques, as well as contacting an array of different people for informational purposes. I feel more confident in contacting businesses and organisations, alongside using the people around me to gain knowledge from their advice and experiences.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to complete tasks that have been otherwise neglected throughout the year, giving my full time and attention where this may not have otherwise been the case.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Problem solving, organisation, focus on goals and outcomes

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Commercial awareness, creative thinking, independence

Student Researcher – University of Exeter Education Incubator

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

  • Offering administrative support to three Chinese fellows on MOOC course on contemporary Chinese culture
  • Planning and drafting a social media campaign
  • Proofreading and editing of English texts written by non-native speakers, and adapting these to an online context
  • Recruiting student and non-student volunteers for the trial version of the course

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

The independent nature of the role meant that I was able to really strengthen my skills in taking the initiative and working autonomously and independently.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

Administrative support, lightening my colleagues’ workload, and ensuring that all course content and materials were adapting and appropriate for an English-language audience.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Communication, leadership, decision making

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Initiative, perseverance, independence

ESI Research Assistant – University of Exeter, Penryn

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

During my time as a research assistant I had one main role – this was to research Circular Economy in both theory and practice across several different nations. Nations and areas researched included Costa Rica, Kenya and the European Union which was to be used during presentations and a very brief start to a research paper. I was given a new nation to research each time I finished my work making this was my main role in ESI.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My ability to research effectively and put it into writing vastly improved.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to lighten the workload for my professor who is currently researching a project.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Communication, problem solving, time and workload management

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Initiative, logical thinking, professionalism

Social Innovation Consultants Intern – University of Exeter

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

Approach and communicate with a variety of companies, via email, to secure student work experience placements for the Easter to summer period of the next academic year. Initial research of the company was needed to ensure they were suitable for Geography and Environmental Science Students and then an email was drafted and sent. I was responsible for any communications between the company and the university through answering questions, queries or any ideas they may have for the placements.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I created loads of new networking links and provided my fellow students with exciting work experience prospects that could lead onto further employment.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

Completed a project that lightened the workload of other colleagues.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Persuasion, customer service, focus on goals and outcomes

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Perseverance, logical thinking, independence

Research Assistant – University of Exeter College of Humanities

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I assisted with the geophysical survey in the Bishop’s Palace gardens. This involved laying out grids, carrying out both Resistivity and Magnetometry surveys. I was then responsible for sorting out the visual results for the written report.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I gained confidence in carrying out 2 types of geophysical surveys, both key for professional archaeological work.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to assist Professor Creighton in one of his research projects, helping him save time as he transitions to head of the department.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Strategic planning, teamwork and collaboration, degree specific skills

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence and independence