Career development tips from United Kingdom

Perspectives and experiences of sustainability and conservation research – an interview with Lucy Morriss. By Ussi Abuu, WildHub core community member
Career development tips from United Kingdom
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ABSTRACTS
According to UN SDGs  Action Campaign "The world is not working for most people and our planet. We only have eight years left to make the SDGs happen. And that will only be possible if we all start to #FlipTheScript – today.
It’s time to tell a new story that shapes a new reality. One where the climate crisis  won’t end humanity. Because humanity will end the climate crisis. And where the idea that girls  can’t change the world vanishes for good. Because we know the world cannot change without girls. #FlipTheScript is about knowing that the impossible is possible – if we act together. It means taking back our world because it belongs to all people, not just a few".  Lucy Morriss is one brave woman who is doing just that. I recently asked Lucy to share some of her insights and experiences.

Photograph: Lucy (left) is a brave woman who is passionate doing practical things to meet ecological sustainable development goals.

Ussi: 1. Lucy, Can you introduce your self?

Lucy: 1. I'm Lucy Morris, a postgraduate student in the UK. I'm currently studying MSc Sustainability and Ecology and the Centre of Alternative Technology in Wales. I am a member of the WildHub community keen to network with other environmental practitioners. I'm also looking to do more voluntary work around my local area and research conservation-centred internships.

Ussi: Let's talk a little bit about sustainability and ecology.

2. What inspired you to study MSc sustainability and ecology at the center of Alternative Technology? 

Lucy: 2. I was inspired to study sustainability and ecology because I've had a very long-lasting passion for the environment and endangered species. My Bachelor's only touched on the areas I really wanted to have in-depth knowledge of, so I decided I wanted to do a Masters which had a bigger focus on ecology. The sustainability sector is also incredibly important for the future and I believe it's very important to learn about, so doing a Masters in Sustainability and Ecology seems like the perfect course for me.

Ussi: 3. What is sustainability and why is it so important to the ecosystems?

Lucy: 3. Well, sustainability is all about balance. It's about using our natural resources consciously and mindfully in order to offer future generations stability. Since regenerative natural resources are needs, such as crop rotation in forestry, habitats are somewhat maintained, which can support biodiversity. Some areas will also be protected and conserved, which adds to the stability and quality of ecosystems, and the abundance and distribution of species too.

Ussi: 4. What is the importance of sustainability for business?

Lucy: 4. I'm not completely sure on this one.. (I'm more knowledgable on the ecological benefits). I think if businesses were more sustainable, they may have a more ethical and moral appearance which could draw in customers because they believe the business is environmentally-conscious. It can be a hard topic to talk about though, because the risk of greenwashing is quite high, even if a company has environmental management systems in place. The cost of certifications could put off businesses too. 

Ussi: Let’s talk a little bit more about your involvement with WildHub.

How did you hear about WildHub and why did you join?

Lucy: 5. I heard of WildHub through Conservation Careers. I think there was a course or a job advert on Conservation Careers and I wanted to find out more about it. After a looking on the internet, I found WildHub. I couldn't miss the opportunity to join

Ussi: 6. For someone that wants to be a leader in sustainability, what are the top 5 lessons you can share with us?

Lucy: 6. 1) Build a community - these people can help advise you, see things from different perspectives and be a support system. 2) Be open-minded and never stop learning - things always change and new research is always being published. Keeping up to date with the latest news on sustainability can help you be innovative and assist in project management etc. It also helps to learn about other people's perspectives and experiences of sustainability. 3) Take accountability for your mistake - everyone makes mistakes and nobody will ever be perfect. It's okay to say your wrong. Try to recognise that the mistakes you make are invaluable because they show you where you can learn and develop. 4) Get hands on experience - whether that's in hands-on conservation, taking a course, or having work experience or an internship. There's only so much you can read before you have to get more practical experience. 5) Know your vision. What's your definition of sustainability?  If you think of a sustainable world, what does it look like? How do you want people to live? Knowing what your goals are incredibly useful for guiding your choices and understanding how you want to lead people

Ussi: 7. Is there something that would make WildHub even better for you or people you know?

Lucy: 7. I can't think of any way to improve WildHub at the moment

Ussi: I would love to hear more about how you came to be an expert in Research, education and training.

How does your work impact other people in conservation?

Lucy: 8. I haven't became an expert in research and species management just yet. In fact, I'm not sure if I'll ever be an expert. As I said previously, things change and there's always new things to learn. What I was meant to say is that I did my Bachelors dissertation on the factors affecting the abundance and distribution of Boloria selene (a type of butterfly) on a local National Nature Reserve. Since that dissertation will go into the library system at my previous university, I hope it will inspire other students to follow the conservation path. I was also very lucky to work with members of the National Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Natural England, and the Wildlife Trusts for my dissertation project and my data was used in a conservation management plan for Boloria selene, so hopefully that helped some conservationists. I'm considering doing my Master's dissertation on the importance of indigenous people in conservation, so hopefully that can raise awareness of the importance of indigenous communities and lands, and contribute to and support the environmental justice movement

Ussi: 9. What's the biggest challenge in your area of conservation?

Lucy: 9. I think the biggest challenge at the moment is money. For example, conservation efforts often rely on funding and charitable donations, which can be occasionally unpredictable and unstable. But also within the sector, conservationists aren't incredibly well paid, so a lot of the younger generation and even my generation may be put off from working in conservation and research. 

Ussi: As we wrap up our conversation today,

10.  Is there anything else you would like to share with our WildHub members?

Lucy: 10. Final comments - I'd just like to say that it's amazing that the WildHub community exists. It's so lovely to know that so many people work or aspire to work within the environmental sectors. I'm excited to learn from one another and I hope you all reach your goals

Ussi: Thanks Lucy for sharing your insights and wisdom with our WildHub members and many others around the world, I particularly admire your willingness to pursue research in conservation even when it doesn’t pay well.  I think this is an action that flips the script on unsustainable development and lifestyles. I think it takes courage and bravery to pursue your dreams in conservation research. I like your perspective and insights on leadership in environmental sustainability. I wish you well and 🙏🏽thanks again for sharing with us.

I am challenged to think about how I can flip the script in my own circumstances. Perhaps my readers can share some examples of where they have done something that flipped the script or saw someone else do something that helps flip the script to sustainable living.

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Go to the profile of Ross Rowe
7 months ago

Thanks for sharing your insights and wisdom Lucy and Ussi. Flipping the script on single use plastics (e.g. cling wrap for food) is something I find challenging. It has been easy to reduce and often OK to go to reusable plastic containers. I note how helpful it is to have others in our daily life that encourage us to uphold our sustainability values, especially when it is inconvenient.  

Go to the profile of Ussi Abuu Mnamengi
7 months ago

Thank you so much Ross, We are not alone, INDUSTRY 5.0 is first industrial evolution ever lead by man (human). I'm INDUSTRY 5.0 Ambassador in Tanzania, our aims to build wasteless world by systematic waste prevention happening. INDUSTRY 5.0 is also stand with us for sustainability, this means always the impossible things is possible if we act together, together we will build wasteless world by systematic waste prevention happening.

Go to the profile of Rebecca Hansell
7 months ago

Thank you so much for sharing this! Some really useful insights on flipping the script! :) 

Go to the profile of Ussi Abuu Mnamengi
6 months ago

Thank you so much Rebecca-hansell