Emma-Checkley-rezie.jpg

Emma

Checkley

United Kingdom
I developed a huge range of practical skills in many different fields, from carrying out animal behaviour experiments, to using specialist software to manage wildlife populations, which will be invaluable as I progress as a researcher

More about Emma

After studying my A-levels I completed some work in the charity sector before coming to Brackenhurst to study the FdSc Wildlife Conservation. After one year I was fast-tracked to the BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation due to my academic achievement.

The BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation course at NTU definitely helped influence my career, and gave me a thorough and detailed understanding of the foundations of wildlife conservation. As the course gave me a small insight into each area of wildlife conservation, I was able to see which areas I enjoyed the most and decide which direction I wanted my career to take. As I particularly enjoyed the research element of the course, I am now continuing this at postgraduate level.

I have just been accepted by the University of Sussex for the Chancellor's Masters Scholarship to undertake a postgraduate MRes course in Animal Behaviour.  I will be developing the research ideas I proposed in my BSc Wildlife Conservation such as bioacoustics and African lion ecology. Throughout the summer I have also been working independently as an ecologist, carrying out endangered species and habitat surveys.

Whilst studying at Nottingham Trent University I developed a huge range of practical skills in many different fields, from carrying out animal behaviour experiments, to using specialist software to manage wildlife populations. I also gained many research skills, from initial data collection techniques to statistical analysis, which will be invaluable as I progress as a researcher.

During my course I took the option of doing a placement. I was fortunate to find a paid position as an ecology intern at a local ecological consultancy, where I learnt about the realities of being an ecologist as well as many other practical skills. I also spent five months in South Africa, working on numerous projects related to lion conservation. I became fascinated with African lion conservation and focused my dissertation on this.

The support I received from the university in terms of advice and loaning of equipment for research was amazing. I received specialist microphones and recording equipment to undertake my bioacoustics-related dissertation project, which made a huge difference to the outcome of my work.

Although studying a degree opens doors, making connections and meeting people in your desired field is just as important as your studies. Write emails, make phone calls and reach out to people whose work or research interests you. Be confident in your abilities and ask if you can get involved with projects. It’s easy to forget the bigger picture when you are studying your degree, especially during long hours in the library! Make sure you take every opportunity to see conservation in action and get involved with projects that protect nature at every level.

I would highly recommend the course to new students as it will provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to begin a career related to wildlife conservation. The more effort you put into the course the more you will get out of it.

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