Wildlife Queensland has been partnering with Queensland universities since 2014 in offering industrial placement opportunities for up to nine environmental science students each year. As in nature, this symbiotic relationship offers great benefits to both sides: Wildlife Queensland gains the input, support, creative thinking and energy of the students, while those on placement acquire an awareness of the social, economic and administrative considerations influencing the operation of an organisation in their chosen field.
Though many careers require students to have experience in their field prior to the attainment of full professional status, the ‘sandwich’ (industrial placement) type course has been little used in Australia. However, the Industrial Placement Program has been operating successfully for over 10 years at the University of Queensland, where WPSQ’s three current placement students are in their third year of a Bachelor of Environmental Management (Natural Systems and Wildlife).
INTRODUCING COURTNEY, NATHAN AND ALEXANDRA
Hi, my name is Courtney Peirce and I first got involved with WPSQ before my placement when I attended a Batty Boat Cruise and decided that an organisation that sets out on a boat along the Brisbane River to watch bats fly into the sunset is the right one for me!
As my placement project I have been working with Projects Manager Matt Cecil to conduct a series of surveying events within the Greater Glider Conservation Area and the Bayview Conservation Area in the Redland Council region to monitor for the presence of glider species. Through active searches (spotlight surveys) and passive surveys (infra-red motion detection cameras), the project aims to monitor for the four species of glider known to inhabit the area: greater gliders (recently listed as Vulnerable), squirrel gliders, sugar gliders and feather-tail gliders.
Now completed, the glider surveys received so much interest from volunteers that the study was extended to accommodate the number of willing participants – thank you!
Hello, my name is Nathan Cooper. As part of my semester-long industry placement with WPSQ, I am working with Policies and Campaigners Manager Des Boyland and President Peter Ogilvie on a project geared toward creating policy relating to border-to-border state marine parks in Queensland over the long term. I am also looking at strategies to increase the current marine protected area estate by 2018, whether by promoting new areas for gazettal or expanding existing estate.
So far, I have learnt a great deal about the political processes of marine park implementation as and gained a solid insight into the historical, social and economic issues which surround the proclamation of these areas. I have developed an appreciation of the difficulties which can be imposed upon various stakeholders if a park is improperly researched or implemented from examples both at home and abroad, and I am currently looking into new technologies and techniques which will give the best chance for success in future endeavours in this field.
Hi, I’m Alexandra Brown and I am passionate about the potentials of environmental law and policy to achieve effective nature conservation. I am currently working with Des Boyland to develop a WPSQ Threatened Species policy stance. Through the process of my project I am hoping to examine several elements of threatened species management within Queensland including: how Queensland legislation can be improved to align with IUCN and national standards of species protection; how the identification and listing of threatened species can be improved; and which conservation actions should be taken to best protect threatened species.
What I love about working at Wildlife Queensland is being associated with an organisation of people so passionate and concerned about wildlife protection and nature conservation, and learning about all the different ways we can hope to achieve this.
Courtney, Nathan and Alexandra will be with us until November when they will be required to submit a project report to UQ on their undertakings and achievements at WPSQ. They will be greatly missed around the office and in the field.