Hannah Evans First Year - Terrestrial and Marine Conservation Volunteer with Operation Wallacea and WEI Research, South Africa

Hannah spent three weeks in Thanda Game Reserve, South Africa, where she helped to record bird species at various sites in the reserve and complete habitat assessments. Hannah then input this data onto the company’s database. During her final week, she completed her Open Water PADI training in Sodwana Bay.

‘I gained a number of practical conservation skills using equipment I had not used before such as fauna and flora reference logs, woody touches, droppers and scuba gear.’

‘Having the opportunity to work alongside the animals I have had a deep love for for so many years was incredible; it is something that has still not fully sunken in! All of our practical work involved either being out in the game reserve or in the ocean and so most days we were learning about the different species we encountered, their interactions with other species and how the conservation work we were doing would impact upon them.‘

I gained a much deeper understanding of what it is to work in the field in potentially very difficult environments.

‘Meeting so many people from different walks of life taught me a great deal of interpersonal skills as well as a wealth of thoughts and ideas which both complement and challenge my own thoughts and ideas.’

‘I believe that being put into an unusual environment, far from home, with people I had never met before was hugely beneficial in order for me to develop as an individual. There were so many life lessons to be learnt throughout the experience, aside from professional growth and that is something I am truly grateful for.’

‘This experience has certainly reassured me that I want to make conservation the focus of my career…Now I can be more specific when updating my CV and when applying for future work experience and employment opportunities. I now have work experience in conservation, which I can include on my CV; due to the nature and location of the work, this will hopefully make me stand out and be remembered by an employer.’