Coming up to the end of my degree and reflecting on the past three years with the Environment and Geography Department has been a whirlwind of surprises. From creating long-lasting friendships and being taught by the world’s first-class lecturers in a variety of subjects, I’ve developed essential life skills which I can use further in the employment sector. You have taken the first, big step by choosing to study at the University of York and specifically the Environment Department; in which I will give you 4 things to look forward to when choosing to study with us!
Seeing parts of the world you never thought you would see!🌍
The department is simply unique in the way field trips are incorporated in your degree. Expect early morning hikes and magnificent views even if this isn’t your cup of tea; the sights will leave you speechless. In the first year, you have the chance to explore Yorkshire. We did a 3- day residential trip to the North Yorkshire Moors passing Whitby and Scarborough. Despite not being fit at all I loved being surrounded by coach banter and being a tourist in a new town 😊. We worked on a range of different projects which led to report writing – an essential start to your environmental career.
Then the big one…TENERIFE! In second year, the whole year group (yes, the whole year) take a week-long trip to the Canary Islands. As well as soaking up the hot sun, you will enjoy the tranquil views of Corona Forestal, the momentous Mt. Teide, Arena Negras and all-inclusive food 😋. Be prepared for long, hard days but bring your camera, hiking boots and rucksacks for some unforgettable snaps! 📸 During this time, you will dedicate two days to work in groups and create your own project. You will present your findings to your classmates developing your presentational skills. Depending on what area you study, there may be further field trip options later in your course. ✈️
The Marvel team of academics
You will be taught by the finest academics such as microbe loving Dr Claire Hughes who undergoes research in the minuscule parts of the oceans. By being taught by these amazing people you will occasionally learn about their research and read papers published by them! The department is so friendly. So, don’t be nervous putting your hand up in class or talking to them regarding study work or not; they are always on hand. Sit back, relax and enjoy the mesmerising images of marine life 🐟 or wildlife in Africa to remote locations such as Antarctica 🚢.
Breaking Bad chemical style… (not literally) 👩🔬
Part of being in the department gives you access to modern-day facilities and high-quality technology. Working in the labs initially can be quite daunting. However, our very own chirpy Deb Sharpe (lab technician) will guide you in the best and safest way possible. You always receive clear and concise instructions on whatever you do. If you are unsure there are plenty of demonstrators about you can seek help from.
Throughout your years at York, you will work more confidently in becoming more independent in the lab. You’ll use intricate equipment for cool projects such as knowing what lurks in one of Europe’s largest plastic-bottomed lakes located right in the heart of our campus! 🌊
Networking with other green go-getters 🌿
Every term is filled with exceptional speakers delivering weekly talks in the department regarding emerging topics and what research and work they carry out with their organisation they work in. This is a great way to investigate what employers are looking for in applicants and how to go about it. The seminars take place in a relaxed environment which is open to anyone (course and year) so make the most of these opportunities! If you can’t make it to the departmental seminars no worries. The department constantly advertises conferences. For example, I attended the first British Ecological Society Conference which occurred in York! This was a great chance to see what other ecologists do first-hand. I got to know more about the conservation sector, which is an area I would like to pursue when I graduate.
Finally, to summarise! I could talk all day about the department I have chosen to study with. In fact, being a course rep offers me the chance to do so 😛 All I can say is choosing to study at York was simply the best life decision I have made. I am so thankful to be part of a community where I have made everlasting memories. The department is like my second family. Want to be part of something like this too?