Environmental Careers - Part 2

On Monday 5th March People & Planet Society held an excellent careers evening inviting several professionals to speak about environmental career options. This is a summary of what the speakers shared and the great advice they want to give to any student interested in an environmental or "green" career. Last week we published Part 1 with Andrew Todd from the environmental consultancy Verco Global, Carys Barry, the Digital Engagement Manager from the Soil Association and Peter Phelps from University of Bath. Today, in part 2 we have Dr Phil Taylor who talked about Plantwise, an international development project, Chloe Newcombe - Jones, a Town Planner from BANES and Gabor Valter from the Green Party.

4. Fourth speaker was Dr Phil Taylor, who works as the European support for a great international development programme called Plantwise through CABI.

CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International) is an international not-for-profit organization that improves people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. Find out more here about CABI and here about Plantwise 

Phil shared what the exciting programme Plantwise does internationally with the audience. Plantwise aims to strengthen plant health systems in developing countries and is an international programme mainly working in Africa, Asia and the Americas to increase food security and to improve rural livelihoods by reducing crop losses. Plantwise works to bring institutional change owned by the country. One of the exciting projects they do  is working closely with national agricultural advisory services  and establishing and support sustainable networks of plant clinics, run by trained plant doctors, where farmers can find practical plant health advice. Plant clinics work similarly to clinics for human health: farmers visit with samples of their crops, and plant doctors diagnose the problem and make science-based recommendations on ways to manage it. They hope to reach 30 million farmers in 40 countries by 2020!  If you are interesting to learn more about this exciting project, have a look at the website!


5. The fifth speaker was Cleo Newcombe- Jones, a Geography  graduate who currently works as a Waterways and Public Realm Project Coordinator and Town Planner in the Environment and Design team at BANES (Bath and North East Somerset Council)

Cloe shared that in addition to her Bachelor degree she has a MSc in Town Planning from UCL (which is generally  required to receive certified town planner status) and a Urban Design postgraduate degree from Oxford Brookes. Her main areas of specialisms are planning policy and urban design: sustainable construction and renewable energy, neighbourhood planning, community – led design, public realm and waterways

Chloe shared that what attracted her to the postgraduate degree is that she wanted a job where she did not sit in front of the computer all the time, but she wanted to go out in muddy boots and talk to people. At the same time mapping and town planning interested her. This was the main reason why she studied a MSc in Town planning.

What is town planning? Well in short it is weighing up social, economic and environmental benefits of land use. Lots of work on maps, plans and lots of weighing up pros and cons before land use is decided. She generally works on long-term projects. As a town planner she has been involved with many different projects including field trips to Holland, Edinburgh and Poland, however in Bath she has been looking at new sustainable constructions, energy efficiency in existing buildings, a waterspace study, flood management processes and involved in a plan of making a park along the River Avon from Bath to Newbridge, which I thought looked very exciting to be a part of!

She shared that important skills to have as a town planner are:

  • Communication, as you talk to different people from different backgrounds every day
  • Negotiation skills
  • Working with communities and stakeholders
  • Analysis of spatial patterns and distributions
  • Interpreting and “seeing” maps and plans
  • Decision – making and advice skills
  • GIS and graphics

If you are interested in a career as a town planner, have a look at prospects for more information about the career - https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/town-planner

6) The last speaker was Gabor Valter and he works as a local campaign coordinator for Green Party Bristol

Unfortunately I don't have any notes from the last speaker, buy Gabor works with party members to organise grass roots local campaigning, supports membership recruitment and develops collaborations with NGOs. You can read more about Bristol Green Party here.

He focused a lot on how pursuing your environmental interests need not be your whole career but volunteering outside of your day job such as in political groups like the Green Party can be a great way to do it. Gabor, as all of our other speakers,  focused on  the importance of "green" volunteering to be able to find an environmental career!

Do you feel inspired? University of Bath Careers Service has many online resources for those of you interested in an environmental careers. Check out our occupational resources list.

Thanks to People & Planet Society for their great work in putting together this event.

Posted in: Advice, Career Choice, Careers Resources, Subject Related Careers, Tips & Hints


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