Category Archives: Environmental Work

Marine and Freshwater Intern – Zoological Society of London

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

To support the Marine and Freshwater ZSL team, on the Penryn campus. Projects included literature review on the distribution and species of marine turtles in the Philippines; PET plastic bottles literature review and general support for the #OneLess project; Mangrove and beach forest medicinal properties; Artificial reefs and coral transplantation review for the Philippines.
I also attended a Marine conservation conference at the Penryn campus and a Marine Management Organisation Meeting with the ZSL team during my last week.

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

I learnt and improved essential skills needed to work with an environmental NGO, such as networking, building relationships, organisation, managing work load, communicating with international environmental groups and promoting work via social media. It was great to gain experience within an office based team, instead of out on the field, which is the majority of my experience.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to support ZSL Marine and Freshwater by completing small, but essential pieces of work as well as contributing to larger projects. This lightened the work load for my colleagues in Cornwall, London and the Philippines.

Energy Intern – Wattstor Energy Storage Systems

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

I carried out a variety of tasks over my internship, including creating case studies from the data of existing customers, analysing data to gain an understanding of charging cycles, blog posts for the website, and basic organisation and “tidying up” of the company dropbox account.  I also worked on several excel spreadsheets that are in use with the company, to fix any errors and improve usability and appearance.

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

I worked well under pressure, and during days when a lot was going on and others were getting stressed, I was able to remain calm and help lighten the workload for my colleagues.  I have also largely improved my excel skills, and I am proud that I successfully solved any problems I was faced with when working on the spreadsheets.  In addition, I am pleased with my independence and ability to get on with a task, but equally I felt comfortable asking for help when I needed it.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

The work I carried out was to a high standard and will help the company keep track of the work they do, saving them time and problems in the future.  I was also able to carry out tasks for my colleagues that reduced their workload during busy periods.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

There were some research tasks that I was unable to find complete information on, so I collated all that I could find and presented that.

Resource Management Intern – Low and Behold

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

I worked on three big projects during two weeks. I was given real responsibilities. For the first project, I managed project planning, created budget sheets, drafted proposal outlines, carried out competitor analysis and assessed risks. For the second project about report writing, I did cost-benefit analysis and literature review. For the third project, I undertook information searching to see whether current legislation and regulation are revised according to our recommendation in 2010.

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

I am not afraid of working in an office environment any more. I can still concentrate on my work even if I am in a big office with many people. I am not afraid of expressing my ideas any more. If there is any problem with my thoughts, others can always remind me and this allows me to develop.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I delivered my work on time and helped lighten my manager’s workload. I filled out sheets and proposals with more details and also double checked the work that had been already done. I communicated my ideas to my manager and many of these were adopted.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

I was not familiar with the background information relating to environment, but my manager  introduced many topics to me with simple language. I also used my common sense to understand or searched for more information by myself. I never rushed into finishing the task. Once I had a general understanding, the work became easier.

Bee Surveyor – Buglife, The Invertebrate Conservation Trust

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

Surveying the status of the Andrena Hattorfiana bee across Cornwall and deciding upon the best course of action for its conservation.

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

I was able to work independently and make important decisions by myself which will benefit the species. Also, finding completely new and previously unknown sites for this bee in Cornwall was a real thrill!

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

Helped to ensure the protection and continual survival of one of the UK’s most impressive bee species. As a charity, Bug Life is committed to saving species from extinction and so my work helped them work out the best course of action for the conservation of Andrena Hattorfiana in Cornwall.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

Living alone for a long period of time was hard but just forced me to become more productive. Th e only other problem I faced was working out what was the best course of action for the bee,  as things like Golf Courses and Holiday Parks wanted potentially different things to the bee.

Animal Behaviour Research Volunteer – University of Exeter

panda

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

During my internship I ran 3 of my own research projects. First was the visibility of the red pandas and fishing cats at Newquay zoo. This involved visiting the enclosures 4 times a day and making observations on how many animals were visible and whether or not visitors were present. For the fishing cats this will act as baseline data. The zoo intend to make some improvements to the enclosure and then the new data can be compared to see if there has been any improvement to the visibility. For the red pandas, I observed three view points of the enclosure. My results found a footpath around the side of the red panda enclosure which led to a larger view of the enclosure and a significant increase in the chance of seeing a red panda, but this area was the least visited. Now this information is available to the zoo they can act on it and put up signs to lead visitors to the better view point.

I also continued some training with 4 species of Asian bird, training each species to feed from a different coloured feeding stick. This means if one species needs more food than the others, they can be target fed meeting energy requirements so breeding is more likely to be a success, but without increasing food for all birds which would be an increased financial cost to the zoo.

The final project was some behavioural observations on the same 4 species of birds as they are all due to be moving enclosure in the near future. These observations can be used as baseline data to ensure there are no dramatic changes once they have moved or perhaps even see an increase in activity.

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

In the labs at uni we do a bit of data collection, but it is really limited by time and we would only have a few hours in the labs a week. I have now gained the experience of a 4 week research project and learnt what its really like be a field-based research scientist.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

The data I have collected is going to be used in multiple future projects and the bird training I did has the potential to save money on expensive wax moth larvae that is fed to the breeding birds. Also increasing the visibility of the Red pandas and Fishing cats will increase visitor satisfaction and potentially lead to more people coming to the zoo.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

On my first week my supervisor was away at a conference and after meeting 3 times prior to my start date I still had to undertake some pilot studies on my first day. I then had to make an executive decision as to which data collection methods were used as he was in Malaysia and I was therefore not able to contact him.

Environmental Education Assistant – Royal Parks Foundation

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

I was involved in the everyday running of an environmental education holiday club in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London/ The Lookout, part of the Royal parks foundation education programme at the Lookout, Hyde Park.
This gives city children the opportunity to explore what the outdoors has to offer.
Tasks included:
-Supporting Ecology Centre staff with delivery of school sessions and holiday activities.
-Preparing equipment and resources for use, and ensuring they are maintained and stored correctly after use.
-Assisting with the day-to-day running of the centre, including daily set up and animal care.
-Maintaining the Ecology Garden and Edible Forest Teaching Garden, e.g. through planting and weeding.
-Supporting Ecology staff with organising and delivering the events programme and smaller activities for visitors.
-Welcoming and engaging visitors to the centre.
-Supporting other Ecology projects within the park and local community.

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

My biggest achievement was being confident enough to make suggestions alongside the work I was being asked to do. Because of this I feel as though I’ve been able to have a small influence and put my stamp on some of the programmes at these centres. One example, included suggesting there should be an education display in one of the class
rooms, and I then took on the task to complete that. I was very proud of the result.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to be an extra help during the busy holiday period, mainly by preparing for lessons, laying out equipment and then taking an active involvement in the sessions with young people. I was also able to be a help with a huge amount of admin tasks for the Royal Parks foundation as their fundraising half marathon approaches in October. This was great to be involved in as the run raises money for the parks education programmes.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

It wasn’t a huge problem, but I did learn a lot about time management when it comes to commuting on the London tubes. There is a lot of unreliability, so making sure I was on time and ready for work was sometimes made difficult by cancelled trains.

Research Assistant (Ecology and Conservation) – University of Exeter

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What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?
I assisted in a variety of laboratory tasks, including the organisation and curation of field samples and preparation of samples for analysis. I also had to provide research support in the form of literature reviews, collation and curation of data sets. I provided general administrative support within the group. This included organising and timetabling meetings, processing of expense claims, Booking travel and accommodation for field trips and conferences.

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

Learning and putting to use new lab skills and successfully managing my workload priorities.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I supported the research group by organising group meetings, collating data and taking on lab tasks such as processing field samples. I also reconciled Professor Bearhop’s expenses and organised his travel to and from work engagements and field trips in the UK and abroad.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

Whenever I had a problem I asked the supportive people in my office for advice and when I had issues with miscommunication I had a meeting with my line manager to clear up the misunderstanding.