I flew to the Netherlands on Sunday the 3rd of December, and then embarked on a public transport adventure to Pieterburen – two trains and a bus. The bus was more like a minibus, and as I sat there with my big rucksack and my non-existent Dutch, the driver said to me “Would you like me to stop at the seal hospital?”.
Next week I am off to the Netherlands to spend 14 weeks as a seal care volunteer at Zeehondencentrum Pieterburen, a large and renowned seal rescue and rehabilitation centre.
Just a little plug for my pal Sophie’s new blog as the project manager of the Dwarf Mongoose Project. Find out about more about her education and experiences in the little interview she did for me, and follow her for lots of cute ‘goosing news!
It’s been around 6 months, almost to the day, since I presented the results of my Master’s project to my lecturers and peers. It was anti-climactic, especially with work looming over me only a few hours later, which left me with plenty of time to not drink and enjoy my freedom, but to consider the […]
Last week I finally got to hand in my notice at my office job, ready to head off to my next upcoming volunteer adventure on the 3rd of December. Handing in your notice is always a weird experience, a bit of guilt and nerves but also excitement and relief. Or is that just me?
When I learnt to dive in the UK, it wasn’t because I wanted to be a UK diver. It was because I wanted to learn to dive as cheaply as possible, and I figured that the answer was to do it through my university club. It’s taken me a lot further than I originally imagined.
A few days holiday in Croatia turned out to be more than just a pleasant break from being in an office all day. It was also a refreshing and invigorating reminder of why I chose to study Zoology, why I loved it, and why I am continuing to pursue a career in it.
I attended an Ocean Conservation Panel on marine plastic pollution last week. It was really interesting with incredible speakers, and made me reflect on my history with the issue of ocean plastics and where we should go from here.
While marine plastics pollution is an issue that is only becoming more prevalent in the media every day now, I don’t remember a time before it was on my radar. This can be credited to my mum, who during twice-daily dog walks on the beach would notice how much litter washed up on the shore and be incensed by it. Like most people, my education and understanding has only increased recently, with documentaries like A Plastic Ocean really capturing the public consciousness, and videos of straws being pulled from turtles’ noses going viral.
Last night I went to an “Ocean Conservation Panel” at the Steppes Travel Beyond Festival in London, all about marine plastics pollution. I got to see one of my absolute all-time idols speak, and find some new ones, as well as get some inspiration to change my behaviour and annoy my friends to change theirs!
In 2016 I joined the Limpopo Dwarf Mongoose Project as a Research Assistant. This is a long term behavioural study. Mongoosers (an informal title) work 6 days a week collecting data and carrying out experiments. The work is with habituated mongoose groups so you can really observe them closely. Dwarf mongooses are cooperatively breeding social mammals with loads of interesting behaviours and complex group structures.
For the sake of ease I have formatted this in the same way as previous reviews of volunteer experiences, but it was more like a job (without the payment aspect, I suppose).
Sophie is an MSci Zoology graduate who is soon off to work as a project manager in South Africa on the Dwarf Mongoose Project (where she was my wonderful roommate when we were research assistants!) – I’ll leave the rest for her to explain in her own words.