HEALTHIER FARMS AND FORESTS.

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Courtney. Science.

What inspired you to study Environmental Science?

I grew up on the West Coast surrounded by forest and bird song, so I've always had a strong passion for the environment. My goal is to be part of the change towards a sustainable future.

What’s been the highlight of your degree so far?

I worked on a research project for eight weeks at the University of Wollongong in Australia. It was amazing. I met tons of fantastic people and we went on lot of trips. We visited a nuclear power plant and went to the Blue Mountains. I loved having the opportunity to collaborate with international experts. It gave me a new perspective on our own local issues.

And you’ve created a club at UC as well?

Yes, I created a faculty club for my degree called EnviroSco. We do events and seminars, academic support and tutorials, and community engagement. It’s open to all students, so anyone who’s interested in the environment can join. We have 73 paying members and another 70 on the mailing list!

What excursions have you organised for EnviroSoc?

We did a planting day at Port Levy, and since then we’ve had invitations to eight more plantings. We’ve also done weeding days because it’s one thing to plant, but you have to take care of them as well!

Overall, what do you enjoy most about studying at UC?

The courses have lots of hands on experiences which makes learning so much easier and more interesting. We go on awesome multi-day field trips. I’ve been to a ton of places – old mining tunnels on the West Coast, farm stations, and Arthurs Pass. Field trips are a great way to really connect with your classmates and make friends and networks for life.

"My degree is giving me a great foundation. Going out and meeting people in the field means that when I go into the workforce I’ll be able to interact confidently with people."

Do you have a particular ambition for your future?

I’m really interested in how we can create a circular economy. As a society, we have a lot of wasteful practices. In farming for example, we import certain types of fertilisers and yet we throw away local resources that could be turned into that very same fertiliser. I want to try and find more efficient ways of doing things.

How is UC setting you up to make an impact?

My degree is giving me a great foundation. Going out and meeting people in the field means that when I go into the workforce I’ll be able to interact confidently with people. We’re given all the background information we need and everything they teach us is very scientific and super relevant.

If you had to write a tagline for UC, what would it be?

'Love learning.' Everyone’s here because we want to be. The lecturers are passionate and inspirational, it’s a wonderful environment and we all get caught up in the excitement of learning.