Sam, from Stafford, experienced working as a summer River keeper in Derbyshire before coming to university.

He says he decided to study for a degree, “to improve my scientific knowledge on freshwater ecosystems and their physical properties”

Sam chose the University of Cumbria to study because of its location in the centre of the Lake District, the small lecture group sizes and the approachability of the lecturers for both Outdoor Studies and Conservation.

When asked what part of the course he enjoyed most, Sam says, “The split between marine ecology and freshwater ecology so I can compare and decide which area to specialise in regardless of my previous experiences.” He goes on to include, “the mix between lectures, seminars, and peer-reviewed work with practical field-work in each of the compulsory modules.”

There is a good mix between lectures, seminars and peer reviewed work with practical field work in each of the compulsory modules.

Sam comments, “The university paid for our places on a freshwater lakes conference as part of our degree, so we could meet industry/sector partners and employers. We also had the opportunity to attend a professional conference, days with professionals working in the field and the help/assistance in organising a placement to Norway.”

Sam admits coming to university has changed his life. “It has focused and refined my career path, confirming my direction towards a freshwater based research job or a conservation practitioner.

“You feel part of a research team rather than a student.”

He adds, “I am proud to have set up a SU conservation society, running it for two years and then seeing it pass on to the next student cohort.  Over the next five years I hope to be working as freshwater researcher or a full time river keeper either in the UK or abroad.”

Edit Page