Vicky was our successful candidate for the Peatland and Geomapping Internship and we're excited to introduce her in this blog.
Hi Vicky, tell us about yourself.
Hello, my name is Vicky, I’m the new Peatland and Geomapping Intern at the Crichton Carbon Centre. I’m originally from South Africa where I first developed a love for the outdoors. As a family growing up, we were always outside, climbing mountains, going to wildlife reserves, and going on multi-day hiking trails in the wilderness. I’ve always had this drive to do something which makes a positive difference to the natural world. Growing up in a country where we have so much wildlife, biodiversity, and untouched wilderness has been such a privilege and that has really inspired me to help protect, enhance, and restore the natural resources we have here in Scotland. My passion really lies in water, water quality, and flood mitigation and using nature-based solutions to achieve the best possible outcomes for ourselves and our water resources.
What attracts you to living and working in Dumfries and Galloway?
I moved to Scotland in August 2021 as my partner was offered a job here and we wanted to go on an adventure! His job is based just outside Dumfries so that’s how we landed here. Dumfries and Galloway is such a hidden gem in Scotland – we aren’t big fans of cities and crowded spaces and that makes our country side living here just perfect. There are beautiful and quiet country roads to cycle on and lots of woodlands and boggy hills to explore. We love it here.
What previous experience do you have in the environment sector?
I have a BSc in Botany, Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, an Honours degree in Biodiversity and Conservation, and an MSc in Phycology (the study of seaweed). I worked in tourism, environmental education, and Vulture conservation in South Africa – my belief being that through education and conservation-based tour guiding you can reach a wider audience to help educate and share ideas around the natural world and how best to protect and restore it. Since moving to Scotland I have worked at Galloway Fisheries Trust and the Nith Catchment Fisheries Trust where we conducted work in river catchments to create the best possible environment for fish in the rivers and did habitat works to help mitigate the effect of global warming and climate change.
What interested you about this internship?
I had never been exposed to peatlands before moving to Scotland, so I was really interested in this position as I saw it as a great opportunity to learn something new. A peatland’s ability to retain water and enhance water quality is also of particular interest to me. I have really enjoyed working in the river catchments in Dumfries and Galloway and expanding my experience and knowledge to peatlands will provide me with a great holistic view to catchments that is essential in any conservation work.
What do you hope to bring to the internship, and what do you hope the internship will give you?
I hope to bring my passion, creativity, and drive to this role. As I come from a water-stressed country with completely different environmental conditions I have a unique view to add to the work we do here and can look at problems with a fresh perspective as everything is so new to me. I’m looking forward to working with drones and geomapping and developing a range of technical and practical skills to take with me. It’s exciting to be part of this important work and to be at the forefront of peatland restoration at such a crucial moment in our history.
We’re really excited to welcome Vicky on board and to gain her experience with hydrology and water quality. We look forward to working with her in 2023!
Thanks to our friend and partner Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership for funding this internship post.