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Latest Conservation Careers Advice Articles

OpenChannels – Taking Marine Spatial Planning to the next level

By Conservation Careers | December 31, 2015

Conservation Careers talks to Nick Wehner from OpenChannels – a website providing all the information ocean planners and marine conservationists need to do their jobs most effectively. Nick also talks about career opportunities within this expanding sector. What is marine spatial planning? Marine spatial planning is a process of talking to different users and finding out

The Wildlife Trusts: An Interview with Ian Rickards

By Rosie Hynard | December 31, 2015

The 47 Wildlife Trusts are the UK’s largest people-powered environmental organisation, working for nature’s recovery on land and at sea. The organisation manages some 95,000ha of British land across the the UK, the Isle of Man and Alderney. They run over 11,000 events annually, helping more than 380,000 people connect with nature in their local

Getting your debate on: a career in conservation policy

By Kristi Foster | December 31, 2015

With the power to protect local species, control national deforestation, or guide sustainable development globally, environmental policy is one of the most influential fields a conservationist can pursue. Conservation Careers talks with Nick Phillips of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) about what it takes to work in policy and why it’s

Talking whales and dolphins with ORCA’s Rachael Forster

By Hannah De Frond | December 31, 2015

Rachael Forster is the Community Wildlife Officer for ORCA, an organisation working to protect the UK’s whales and dolphins from threats such as shipping, fishing, noise pollution and marine litter. ORCA’s work has helped the UK government identify whale and dolphin hotspots, contributed to the conservation status of species found in UK waters and created

Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

By Sarashka King | December 31, 2015

Conservation doesn’t have to be just about science… Derek Niemann shows how he has used his creative flair, passion, writing skills and wildlife knowledge to inject some imagination and originality into the world of science and editing, bringing wildlife and conservation into the hearts of adults and children. What is your current job title? Youth

Thinking Outside the Box for a Better Planet

By Marta Cálix | December 31, 2015

“Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world” – Paulo Coelho When faced with saving the world from the growing pressures of the human population, conservationists have many hurdles to overcome. Like fighting a fire on several fronts, we must tackle deforestation, poaching,

Three Steps to Changing the World: an interview with Climate Scientist Dr Andrew Weaver

By Kristi Foster | December 31, 2015

For anyone who thinks that they can’t make a difference in the world, Dr. Andrew Weaver will convince you otherwise. As a lead author on four Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, a professor at the University of Victoria for 20 years and Deputy Leader of the Green Party of British Columbia, Canada, just

Want to Work for a Non-Profit? How to Plan for a Career in Charity

By Dixie Somers | December 31, 2015

Many of us would like to devote our lives to helping others, but even those with a passion for charity may find it difficult to making a living out of philanthropy. There are countless non-profits throughout the world that actually have paid positions, but the competition for these jobs is fierce. If you are dedicated

The human side of conservation: an interview with Dr Philip Dearden

By Kristi Foster | December 31, 2015

Dr Philip Dearden has worked in Africa for 10 years and still doesn’t call himself an African expert. But as Leader of the Marine Protected Areas Working Group for Canada’s Ocean Management Research Network, co-author of Parks and Protected Areas in Canada: Planning and Management, and with more than 25 years’ experience working in Southeast

Setting the Stage for an Iberian Lynx Comeback with Eduardo Basto e Santos

By Marta Cálix | December 31, 2015

I have followed the conservation history of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) closely for several years. This species is the most threatened feline in the world, living only in Spain, and in Portugal, where I am from. Recently, reintroductions have taken place in Spain and, just shortly before last Christmas, two Iberian lynx were reintroduced

Fundraising: A Look the Ins and Outs of Nonprofit Grant Writing

By dixiesomers | December 31, 2015

One of the best ways for nonprofit organizations to acquire funding is to solicit for grants that come from foundations, trusts, or government departments. Nonprofit grants, government grants, and federal grants generally are given to organizations from the local, state or federal government agencies or private organizations. Many nonprofit organizations are great at fundraising and

Distance Learning for a Career in Conservation

By Zehra Zawawi | December 31, 2015

Conservation Careers Blogger Zehra Zawawi from Karachi, Pakistan, discusses why she chose a distance learning degree, and how’s helped to launch her career in conservation… “I knew that I always wanted to work with nature but had hardly any clue what tools and knowledge are required to become an environmentalist. The course details provided by University of

Building Noah´s Arks for Panama´s Amphibians with Heidi Ross Griffith

By Marta Cálix | December 31, 2015

The chytrid fungus is a deadly pathogen that is wiping out amphibian populations worldwide, and threatening many species in Panama with extinction. The El Valle de Anton Conservation Center (EVACC) is part of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation (PARC) Project, and their mission is to save these frogs. The project collects amphibians from the

Volunteering: The stepping stone to employment?

By Karen Langley | December 31, 2015

Conservation Careers Blogger, and RSPB volunteer Karen Langley, shares her top tips for how conservation volunteering can help you… In an increasingly competitive job market it’s important to try and make yourself stand out. Many people consider volunteering to be highly important, especially within an organisation that has links to the area in which you wish

Top 10 Documentary Films Every Conservationist Should Watch

By Hannah De Frond | December 31, 2015

Documentary films are not only entertaining to watch, they can also be eye opening and a great reminder of why it is that we should care about conservation, by showcasing the life around us and the threats it faces. Here, Conservation Careers blogger Hannah De Frond has whittled down a list of top 10 documentary

Rewilding – A Careers Perspective

By James Walker | December 31, 2015

Rewilding – creating controversy and excitement in equal measure on the wildlife conservation world. Can we bring back species long lost from environments and learn to live with them? How did we manage to lose so much in the first place? What are the benefits of bringing back certain species, financially, spiritually and ecologically? There

Birds of Seychelles: inspiring conservation from England to the Indian Ocean

By Adam Moolna | December 31, 2015

Over 100,000 giant tortoises on the remote Aldabra atoll, approximately 115 islands across a 1.4 million square kilometre exclusive economic zone, and a Noah’s ark of unique tropical wildlife. That’s the Seychelles that fascinated me as a child who had fallen in love with giant tortoises. I grew up surrounded by Seychelles maps and books,

Volunteering in Seychelles as part of a Zoology degree

By Adam Moolna | December 31, 2015

I recently interviewed Adrian Skerrett, Chairman of the Island Conservation Society (ICS) in Seychelles, and discussed the experience that volunteers can gain to help launch their careers. When I worked with ICS we organised for two zoology undergraduates from the University of Manchester to spend one year work experience placements with us. The university offers

How to work for Save the Rhino – Interview with Aron White, Michael Hearn Intern 2014

By Conservation Careers | December 31, 2015

Last year we spoke to Rory Harding, the eighth Michael Hearn Intern at Save the Rhino, a one year fixed contract, paid internship based in London. We revisit this amazing position with this year’s successful intern – Aron White. He beat off 298 other applications to get the job, so we’re keen to share his secrets for

Making a career in conservation against all the odds

By Conservation Careers | December 31, 2015

Peter Smith Chief Executive Officer and founder of the charity called the Wildwood Trust. He graduated the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) in 1994. At that time, his job hunting stats looked pretty gloomy with over 500 applications and no job offers… In this insightful lecture, Peter shares his career journey and some secrets of

A career in Conservation Science with Professor Andrew Balmford

By Conservation Careers | December 31, 2015

Andrew Balmford is Professor of Conservation Science in the Zoology Department at the University of Cambridge. His research seeks to tackle fundamental questions about the relationship between people and the global loss of nature – is conservation worthwhile, why is nature being lost, how much would conservation cost, and how can we achieve it efficiently? In this interview with

Biodiversity conservation gets a business edge

By Kristi Foster | December 31, 2015

Mining and energy operations have some of the most transformative impacts on the planet, with the power to strip landscapes, alter ecosystems and forever change societies. In this interview, Fauna & Flora International’s Business & Biodiversity Director, Pippa Howard, explains how working with business can create large-scale conservation benefits and how to join this emerging

The conservation job application process – 299 applicants to 1…

By Save The Rhino | December 31, 2015

Save the Rhino have a rare paid, year long internship programme (Michael Hearn Intern) which proves to be very popular with conservation job seekers. Last year they had 299 applications, and published the results of their shortlisting process, and provide some practical advice which all conservation job seekers can learn from. We thank Save the Rhino for

A wild career in Texas with Matt Wagner

By Naima Montacer | December 31, 2015

Conservation Careers Blogger Naïma Montacer speaks with Matt Wagner, Deputy Director of the Wildlife Division at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, about his fascinating career… I sat in a small room overlooking the coast of Texas, listening to Matt Wagner speak about what’s new in wildlife conservation around the state. I was intrigued by Wagner’s enthusiasm, not

Wildcat Haven – Saving a Species on the Brink of Extinction

By James Walker | December 31, 2015

The Scottish Wildcat Felis Silvestris Grampia, once present across the whole of the United Kingdom, is now confined to a fraction of its former range. It features strongly in the culture of Scotland and its wild instincts have proven to be virtually untameable. However, it is critically endangered owing to several threats; recent estimates suggest

Conservation as your Ticket Around the World

By Jennah Green | December 31, 2015

It can often feel difficult, and frankly overwhelming, that working in conservation rarely provides a set career path to embark on. Graduates, in particular, often feel pressure to hastily decide their career goals and secure a job in the relevant sector but quickly find that, as far as wildlife and conservation careers go, it’s very

Leading Research in Great Ape Locomotion – Dr Julia Myatt

By Carolyn Dunford | December 31, 2015

Dr Julia Myatt, a lecturer at the University of Birmingham, UK, gives her story of how she became a leading researcher in the field of great ape locomotion and animal behaviour, along with some advice for aspiring researchers. Where did your career in wildlife research start, how did you get into it? I never had

Storytelling for a sustainable world – a career marketing tourism

By Kristi Foster | December 31, 2015

What if you could help protect a rainforest ecosystem by telling the story of an ecolodge’s composting system? Or help safeguard a biosphere reserve by promoting a sustainable tourism initiative? The answer is, you can. In this interview, Tartan Group President Deirdre Campbell shares how communicating sustainable tourism can support environment, business and community – and

Megan Shersby: Seasonal Assistant for Dorset Wildlife Trust

By Conservation Careers | December 31, 2015

Megan Shersby is an aspiring naturalist and science communicator. She is based in Dorset, working as a Seasonal Assistant for Dorset Wildlife Trust at two of their centres and is passionate about inspiring others to explore the natural world, and can usually be found in nature reserve examining the local wildlife. Here she shares her fascinating career

Money Matters: 6 tips on how to fund Volunteer work

By Jennah Green | December 31, 2015

The most common advice given for seeking a career in wildlife conservation is to gain as much experience and as many new skills as you can, often through volunteering and internships. For many people the main concern with this advice is money; paid placements are few and far between in the conservation sector and volunteering

Five ways to get a conservation job, by Matt Williams

By Conservation Careers | December 31, 2015

Matt Williams is a conservationist and wildlife photographer who works as a climate change policy officer for the RSPB and helps to run A Focus on Nature. Here he shares his five key pieces of advice for pursuing a career in conservation. 1. Go beyond 9-5 If you want to really succeed in any sector, you’re going to

Wild Words: A career communicating science

By Jennah Green | December 31, 2015

Roz Evans is a wildlife science communicator and community events organiser, who recently featured in Exeter University’s 41 most inspirational women in science. She is also the brains behind the amazing new nature magazine BIOSPHERE, which reports on the latest discoveries from the fields of ecology, conservation, climate, behaviour, evolution and physiology. Conservation Careers chatted

Volunteering at Home: Accessible for all

By Adam Moolna | December 31, 2015

My interview with Kat Machin from north-west England identified volunteer experience as key evidence that you can deliver and work within a conservation team. Experience in Seychelles offered unique opportunities to work on globally significant projects for both Kat and myself. But local conservation in our home towns in England has been equally important. Kat

50: 50 – Working While you Study

By Emma Ackerley | December 31, 2015

We all know how difficult it can be to finance those hefty academic fees. Some of you may be lucky enough to win a scholarship and some might simply have two very generous parents. However, the majority of us are left with the choice of giving up on furthering your education on the simple basis

The Pros and Cons of Being a Primatologist

By Kristi Foster | December 31, 2015

When you hear the word ‘primatology,’ there’s a good chance you’re picturing either Jane Goodall nose-to-nose with a chimp, or Sir David Attenborough huddled amongst mountain gorillas in Rwanda. But beneath its romantic portrayal is a field so challenging, so diverse and so close to our own hearts (and DNA) that it couldn’t possibly be

The Pros & Cons of Working in Primatology – Part 2

By Kristi Foster | December 31, 2015

In this second installment of interviews with three primatologists, Kaitlin Wellens, Dr Kathryn Shutt and Dr Alejandro Estrada explain what it takes to be a primatologist, how to find opportunities and why more people are needed in this challenging field. When people think about primatology, what is most often misunderstood? Kaitlin: As with any exotic

Biodiversity Wizardry in Honduras: an interview with Dr. Merlijn Jocqué

By Marta Cálix | December 31, 2015

One week in Cusuco National Park was more than enough to fundamentally change my perception of Honduras. Before coming to this cloud forest in the Merendon mountain range, all that came to my mind when thinking about this part of the world was lowland rainforest, jaguars, and hot, humid temperatures. Instead, on the way to the

A Tale of Two Careers: from DJ to DNA – the genetics lab in Honduras with Jim Labisko

By Marta Cálix | December 31, 2015

A wood shed in the middle of a Honduran cloud forest might not be what first comes to mind when you think of the words “DNA lab”, but there is one there nonetheless, run by Operation Wallacea on their yearly summer expedition to Cusuco National Park. Operation Wallacea conducts conservation field research in many countries

Bringing new species to light: an interview with David AC Stanford-Beale

By Marta Cálix | December 31, 2015

Cusuco National Park in Honduras is one of the strangest places I have ever visited. A cloud forest habitat, there are large pines amidst broadleaf trees and huge tree ferns, that together with the often-present white mist made me feel like I was a Jurassic jungle. The forest is teeming with wildlife, and no group

My Top 5 Conservation Books

By Emma Ackerley | December 31, 2015

This week Conservation Careers Blogger Emma Ackerley shares her favourite conservation books with us. So if you’re looking for some career inspiration, heading out on fieldwork and in need of some Kindle downloads, or just lazing on the beach … here’s a few ideas for you. Reading a book written by active wildlife conservation practitioners has had

Water and Wildlife with Chris Gerrard

By Conservation Careers | December 31, 2015

This week we’re speaking to Chris Gerrard. He tells us about his role as Anglian Water’s Climate Change and Biodiversity Manager, his fascinating career path to date, and provides some practical advice for people looking for a job in conservation. What’s it like being the Climate Change and Biodiversity Manager at Anglian Water? I’ve got

Power to the people: Inspiring a passion for nature in others through citizen science

By Charlotte Rixon | December 31, 2015

As a devotee of amateur nature recording with a passion for trees and woods, it’s fair to say that Citizen Science Manager for the Woodland Trust, Dr Kate Lewthwaite, is in her dream job. She tells us how a combination of biding her time and being proactive got her to where she is today, talks

Contributing to Conservation in a Creative Way

By Emma Ackerley | December 31, 2015

I first met wildlife artist Martin Aveling at the beginning of 2015 when I was working in South Africa. Anyone with this much talent coupled with a commitment to mitigating the plight of endangered species, is someone you need to know about in the conservation world. Martin grew up in the savannah of Central and East

Writing about wildlife: becoming a communications officer in conservation

By Adam Moolna | December 31, 2015

My last interview was with Kathryn Phillips from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust in north-west England. I run the communications campaign for Kathryn’s Forest Schools project and that interview is part of the work that goes into raising the Trust’s profile, publicising its activities, and strengthening the case for conservation. Writing articles, film-making, and wider communications

Nothing but the horizon, and plastic pollution

By Stella Diamant | December 31, 2015

Conservation Careers Blogger Stella Diamant shares her recent work as a research scientist onboard one of The Ocean Cleanup’s ‘Mega Expedition’ vessels in the Pacific. She documents the plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean, and it’s impact on wildlife. After 3 months spent working 24/7 in Hawaii to coordinate the ‘largest ocean research expedition in

From England to South Africa – The Stuff Dreams are Made of

By Emma Ackerley | December 31, 2015

Katie Rooke holds a BSc in Zoology and Marine Biology from Aberdeen University and an MRes from Bristol University in Brown Hyaena translocation. She currently works in South Africa, running the Askari Wilderness Volunteer Programme. She is an ideal advocate for anyone trying to pursue a career in conservation within Southern Africa. Here she gives an

Monitoring Bird Diversity in Cusuco National Park with Sam Jones

By Marta Cálix | December 31, 2015

I was recently in Honduras, working as a field ornithologist on an Operation Wallacea expedition. Operation Wallacea conducts field conservation research all over the world, and provides young people with the opportunity to experience this research first hand, by bringing school students and university research assistants along with the scientific staff. Sam Jones is the

Sharing indigenous knowledge for a more sustainable world

By Kristi Foster | December 31, 2015

From edible wild fruits to traditional land management systems, ethnobotanist and ethnoecologist Dr Nancy Turner’s work centres on the relationships between people, plants and environment. Focusing on work with indigenous plant experts of northwestern North America, the Distinguished Professor studies traditional knowledge and resource management systems that can help inform modern sustainability. Her words remind us all to take

Introducing the International Network of Next-Generation Ecologists

By Conservation Careers | December 31, 2015

This week we’re talking to Dr Peter Søgaard Jørgensen and the working group from the International Network of Next-Generation Ecologists (INNGE). Peter Søgaard Jørgensen is a biologist studying the macroecological consequences of global environmental change and sustainable solutions that may improve biological food, resource, health and environmental systems in the 21st century. This is currently studied

Sustainable tourism ecopreneurs: transforming the way the world travels

By Kristi Foster | December 31, 2015

Tourism and conservation might seem at odds, but with more than 1.1 billion tourists travelling every year and a growing demand for environmentally and culturally responsible tourism, the sector is poised to have a positive impact on nature – if the right people get involved. According to Leonie Bowles, Corporate Partnerships Officer with Conservation Volunteers

Adventurer at heart: exploring the marine world with Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic’s Alyssa Adler

By Kristi Foster | December 31, 2015

If you think dream jobs don’t exist, read no further. There are limitless reasons to set aside our true passions: the job market is too poor, competition is too fierce (surely no one can acquire that many degrees and that much experience by age 25?) and social pressure cautions us against idealistic pursuits. Safe decisions

Conservation Photojournalism and It’s Important for the Future of Conservation

By Emma Ackerley | December 31, 2015

I recently met Neil Aldridge under unforeseen circumstances, but the passion, the drive and the commitment that pours out of Neil when he talks about conservation issues is inspirational. Neil spent much of his early career volunteering and working with conservation organisations such as The Wildlife Trust, The Galapagos Conservation Trust and Natural England. However

Putting communities at the heart of conservation

By Jim Pettiward | December 31, 2015

With responsibility for conservation programmes and partnerships in Madagascar, Mozambique, the Comoros, Belize and Timor-Leste, Frances Humber, Conservation Programmes Manager, Blue Ventures is the London-based ‘fixer’ who makes sure that projects are on track, looking after the critical behind-the-scenes work of providing technical support to staff in the field and managing relationships with funders. Having completed

Ten Short Course Ideas to Boost Your Career (UK)

By James Walker | December 31, 2015

Building a career in conservation can be as difficult and frustrating as it can be rewarding. Having ambition, an end goal to aim for, ideally a match of your passions and skills, is an excellent driver to get where you want to be in the future. From one stepping stone to another on short term

Kike Calvo: Using wildlife photojournalism to educate and inspire

By Kaitlin Flood | December 31, 2015

Spanish native Kike Calvo, National Geographic Expeditions photography expert, award-winning photographer and journalist, is now based in New York and represented by National Geographic Creative. Having travelled to over 95 countries to compile a portfolio of environmental and cultural documentary photos, in addition to pioneering the use of small manned aerial systems in photography, it

Delivering science to manage coral reefs: an interview with Professor Peter Mumby

By Kristi Foster | December 31, 2015

“When I was studying marine biology people told me, ‘You shouldn’t do that; there are no jobs,’” says Professor Peter Mumby. “And that’s absolute nonsense. When you reflect on all of the things that still need to be done to protect ecosystems, there are jobs for everybody for a long time to come.” Fortunately, Mumby

International Nature Volunteers – Volunteering that Won’t Cost the Earth

By Olivia Congdon | December 31, 2015

Olivia Congdon speaks with Toby Malcolm about the International Nature Volunteers. The eternal struggle that accompanies being a conservation volunteer is the financial burden. How frustrating is it when you find that amazing international volunteer project, but then realise that the project fee, on top of travel costs and life expenses, just won’t be feasible? As

Ban driven grouse shooting in the UK

By Conservation Careers | December 31, 2015

In the UK, grouse shooting for ‘sport’ depends on intensive habitat management which increases flood risk and greenhouse gas emissions, relies on killing Foxes, Stoats, Mountain Hares etc in large numbers and often leads to the deliberate illegal killing of protected birds of prey including Hen Harriers. Driven grouse shooting uses animals for live target

Scottish Wildcat Action – Delivering a Partnership Project (Full Version)

By James Walker | May 16, 2015

Scottish Wildcat Action is an ambitious conservation project launched to implement ‘The Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Plan’. The action plan identifies the best remaining areas for wildcats and conservation strategies to ensure the preservation of viable populations in the future. More than twenty major organisations have signed up to the plan and were actively involved

Volunteering Columbus GV Team

How to Get a Job in Conservation

By Conservation Careers | January 10, 2015

So you want to get a job in conservation? Great! With wildlife in crisis all around the world and numbers of threatened species at an all-time high, the natural world needs your help. The good news is there are a growing number of jobs available in conservation – it’s become a professional industry requiring a