Earthwatch Europe has partnered with the Government of Jersey to provide a new internship programme for undergraduate science students.
The five-year Earthwatch internship aims to engage, educate and inspire younger generations to understand threats to the natural world from a local perspective. The research projects consider the impact of climate change and the potential loss of wildlife and habitats.
Learning Manager at Earthwatch Europe, Katherine McGavin, said: “We’re delighted to partner with the Government of Jersey to provide young scientists with an opportunity to develop skills and provide valuable research on environmental subjects. Investing in internship programmes means we can inspire the next generation and help them understand their impact on the environment and what actions they can take to protect the natural world. Our Earthwatch internship programme provides scientific training opportunities for conservationists who need practical field experience to further their careers. This enables future environmental leaders to realise their potential and ensure long-lasting, positive impacts on their community and the planet”.
One successful student intern, Hannah Crespel, has been recruited for six weeks to support Jersey’s new Pollinator Project. The Pollinator Project aims to increase habitats for pollinator species in Jersey and through monitoring of these areas we will understand the populations of our pollinators. Her work will inform how the project will evaluate and measure the success of managing, creating and restoring habitats for pollinators specifically focusing on pollinating insects such as hoverflies, beetles, flies, butterflies and moths.
Earthwatch welcomed Hannah to a weekend training experience in Wytham Woods, Oxfordshire at the beginning of July. The training was an opportunity for Hannah and other attendees to explore environmental science communication to inspire and motivate environmental action, the practice and principles of Citizen Science and relating scientific research to global challenges through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The weekend was delivered by a variety of Earthwatch researchers and learning specialists working in the fields of urban ecology, fresh water, marine biology, citizen science and community engagement. Much of the learning came from the engaging and dynamic discussions with other participants working in the fields of formal and informal education, outdoor learning and theatre.
Hannah’s project ties in with Bees’ Needs Week this week, a national campaign to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of bees and other pollinators.
Earthwatch intern, Hannah Crespel, said: “I am currently studying a BSc in Ecology at the University of East Anglia and I’m happy to be able to come home to Jersey to further develop my skills and put them into practice. The data I’m collecting will go towards my third-year research project so I’m gaining great insight into the variety of career paths available within this field”.
Nina Cornish, Research Ecologist, Growth, Housing and Environment, said: “Projects like this provide Growth Housing and Environment with vital information which contributes to local and national data. These internships will enable us to assess the ecological impacts of our campaigns, such as the Pollinator Project, and ensure they are set to make positive changes for Jersey”.