Week 2 check-in PMWC 🦚

A hello from me to see how you are doing

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Hello all, 

I hope you are all well. How were your weekends? I want to check in with you and see how you are all getting on. How are you finding the materials for this week? A few things I would like to share with you:


Which of the following would help you achieve more conservation impact over the course of your career?

On-ground experience
Ecological knowledge

Please comment below and add extra options you think are missing. 


Some of you may have seen this, the Conservation Optimism movement now has a podcast! See here. In the first episode the talk to Caleb Ofori-Boateng about his inspiring work conserving amphibians in Ghana. I also really like the Conservation Careers podcast. Do you have any podcast recommendations? 


Below is our group agreement, a combination of your suggestions about ways we can make this training more enjoyable and impactful. If you would ever like to add or take anything away from this please say - this is your group agreement, it applies to Lucy and me too. We are of course all adults, so we are free to do as we wish. 

I hope you had good weekends. 

All the best, 

Beth 🦘

Beth Robinson

WildLearning Specialist, WildTeam

I'm a WildLearning Specialist with WildTeam, a bit of a odd job title. My main role is to design, deliver and organise both our online and class-based training workshops. One of the best parts of my job is meeting other conservationists and learning about the work that they do. I really enjoy geeking out reading teaching theory and thinking about ways I can more creatively and engagingly deliver learning. Before working for WildTeam I did a PhD in invasive plants and human wildlife interactions. I find it really interesting to learn about the ways people interact with nature, both when nature is being wonderful, but also when is is being a bit annoying!
187 Contributions
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Go to the profile of Joe Bodycote
11 months ago

Really interesting poll! I think all of the options are important and the one that is most important probably changes depending on the situation? Like for me my dream in life is to own/manage a rewilding project/area and it feels like the biggest hurdle would be the funds to buy and manage land. Maybe for people who are switching careers and have savings the funding is less important than the other 3 options? 

Go to the profile of Beth Robinson
11 months ago

Yes I agree, very situation dependant. That is a wonderful dream, really hope it can be a reality for you one day. 

Go to the profile of Alexander Schmied
11 months ago

Right now, I think my lack of knowledge of available funds is the one thing I am missing. Of course all the other options are also crucial for improving, but right now I'd vote for funds.

Go to the profile of Beth Robinson
11 months ago

Thanks for your thoughts Alex, yes, funds are key, hope you get more soon.

Go to the profile of Molly Heal
11 months ago

Hmm! it strikes me that funds / financial support enables - or restricts access to - all of the other options in the poll, particularly at the start of someone's career. At any stage of a career though, if you want to be able to keep learning, taking courses, diversifying your experience, going to conferences, networking, etc., you need a source of funding and / or the support of your employer to even make those things an option (e.g. paid time off work for professional development).

Go to the profile of Beth Robinson
11 months ago

Thanks for your thoughts Molly. Good point, career development takes time and money, but it is important and sometimes isn't prioritized. 

Go to the profile of Mark Anderson
11 months ago

Whilst funding is certainly crucial if you have a wealth of knowledge, experience and skills or the ability to access these then sometimes you can find ways of achieving the same outcome without the need for huge funds. Also it is no good having all the money in the world if you do not spend it wisely or target it correctly to be able to achieve your aim,  for this I think you need knowledge and experience.  

Go to the profile of Ellie Strike
11 months ago

Funding for sure. It can often enable all the other options in the poll, especially for someone like me at the start of their conservation career. Often you need to pay significant amounts to gain practical experience, particularly for marine field work. It also seems experience is the only way to advance in the career/ even get a job, and I'm finding that you often can't even get experience like internships without already having some experience. A bit of a paradox really. 

Go to the profile of Abby
11 months ago

I would vote for ecological knowledge as I feel it makes me less relevant to the field of conservation project management at the moment. However, I would argue that is partly a financial/funding barrier as I don't have the option to study/do a masters in something specialised that I'm interested in. Agree with Molly's point that a lot of things come back down to funding/money unfortunately! 

Go to the profile of Aurora Hood
11 months ago

I have to admit, I found it difficult to only choose one option on the poll! I think overall, funding is often the limiting factor to so much great work. Most research and conservation projects that I have been involved in could have always used more funding, especially as more funding often means more experience/knowledge/skill training for those involved!  Not to mention funding controls the quality of equipment used in conservation projects, as well as the scope. The one project that I have been on that had (almost) unlimited funding went incredibly smoothly and had vast conservation impacts as a result.

Go to the profile of Beth Robinson
11 months ago

Thanks all for your thoughts all, really interesting to read. The common theme seems to be that funding can help with a lot of the other things on the list. Aurora, interesting to hear about the project with almost unlimited funding.

Go to the profile of Rosheen
11 months ago

For me on ground experience helps understand what is needed and along with honing skill. Funds always help with life and conservation

Go to the profile of Dominick Marra
11 months ago

I think all would be help of course, but right now I am thinking I could be most effective with on-ground experience. I always feel that actually "getting your hands dirty" really allows you to understand the intricate details of the work that goals on and you can see and feel the issues that may arise whether it's need for communication skills, funding, delays relating to outside forces like weather or local politics etc. all become factors that impact the success/failures of projects. Having the hands on experience allows you to create realistic project goals and timelines and allows you to factor in potential disruptions.

Go to the profile of Beth Robinson
11 months ago

I can see that! Training is great, but somethings you just can't learn until you try them out for yourself.

Go to the profile of Kathryn Jones
11 months ago

I think the funds and skills are a huge one for me. I'm lucky in a position to be gaining alot of knowledge and being confident in my sector, but i lack skills in other valuable conservation areas and funds i think will always be a constant factor!

Go to the profile of Beth Robinson
11 months ago

I don't think there is ever an end to learning, so always being open to developing new skills is a good thing.