Georgia is extremely passionate about the nature and wildlife and was determined to pursue a career helping to preserve the natural world.

"I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to learn about a subject I was really passionate about with similar minded people in an exciting new place," she explained. "Not to mention that it would help me figure out what sort of career I wanted to pursue and how to go about getting it."

The two things that cemented Georgia's decision to study at the University of Cumbria were the location and the course.

"The Ambleside campus is in the heart of the Lake District - you couldn’t ask for a better location, especially when you’re studying a degree in Conservation Biology. Nature is on your doorstep and you’ll never run out of scenic hikes, an adventure on the lake, or a nature reserve to visit.

"The course itself had so much to offer - a great variety of modules, field work and the option to get placement experience and to go on trips."

The whole experience is life-changing.

Many Conservation Biology students opt to do a placement year to gain valuable experience in the industry. For Georgia, this was the highlight of the course.

"It really was one of the most eye-opening, exciting and significant experiences of my life," she said. "Between 2nd and 3rd year, I completed a 30 week placement (‘placement year’) at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska. From the beginning of January through to the end of July (2015) I was assisting with park research, working primarily within the Resource Management division on various different program areas including whales and marine mammals, fisheries, terrestrial wildlife, cultural resources, whale exhibit maintenance, and oceanographic monitoring. I also completed a number of training courses, such as the Department of the Interior Motorboat Operator Certification Course, and participated in a number of field projects! Whilst out there, I also got the opportunity to do some surveys and moose telemetry tracking with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

"The experience gained from my placement was invaluable. It’s not just about adding something to your CV. The whole experience is life-changing. I gained a new perspective on conservation in the industry, made contacts and life-long friends, and learnt more about myself and my abilities along the way. If you’d told me at the start of my degree that I’d be living by myself in bear country (Alaska) for 7 months for a placement at a National Park I wouldn’t have believed you."

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