It is no exaggeration that my first few, seemingly very short, weeks working at EcoNorth have been extremely diverse, challenging and most importantly exciting. As with any new role, I used my initial days in the office familiarising myself with the company’s administration procedures and policy documents, and developing an understanding of my responsibilities as an Ecology Intern.
I have since grasped several opportunities to broaden my understanding of the types of work conducted by an ecological consultancy. My background in academia, practical conservation initiatives and species surveys provide a firm foundation on which to acquire key industry skills, and the team at EcoNorth has been quick to show their support of my training.
In such a short period of time I have already:
- Achieved my CS38 Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue Level 2 Certification.
- Taken responsibility for the maintenance and LOLER inspection of the company’s climbing equipment.
- Shadowed staff during Ecological Clerk of Works operations.
- Taken responsibility for the implementation of a soft-engineering river bank restoration project, including making relevant purchase orders, client liaisons, writing method statements and risk assessments.
- Drafted a project proposal and quotation.
- Completed a selection of online learning modules including asbestos awareness and driver awareness training.
Although all of this may have appeared daunting to begin with, especially developing a head for heights during the tree climbing course, I have learned that there are no silly questions within such a close-knit team with a wealth of practical and ecological know-how. I fully expect that this year will slip by quickly but I intend to, at the very least, earn a level 1 or level 2 bat survey licence, which will help put my climbing certification to good use.
The winter months are now behind us. I am eager to see what the busy protected species survey season brings forth and where EcoNorth will take me next.