Course studied: BSc (Hons) Environmental Science
Graduating year: 2014
Job: Graduate Ecologist with Hyder Consulting
Ewan graduated from Bath Spa with a degree in Environmental Science. He is currently working as a Graduate Ecologist with Hyder Consulting specialising in bird surveying amongst other reponsibilities.
"The modules I chose gave me a great footing for going into consultancy; most of my colleagues have needed a Masters degree to get into consultancy, but clearly a BSc from Bath Spa is well thought of!"
What have you done since graduating from Bath Spa?
Well, eventually I got a decent job … but not straight away. First came the Quarry Life Award led by Dave Watson with fellow Env. Sci. and Biology students Jenny Harnett, Laura Cottam, Matt Weiss and Richard Spiers.Winning an international award (and having fun at the same time!) was a decent start to post-uni life!
Next, I went back to working at Millets (woo, retail!) part-time whilst I volunteered at a local SSSI carrying out practical maintenance work (tree-felling etc.), plus assisting with dormouse and bird surveys. Then I was lucky enough to work part-time for three months with a waste management consultancy (largely concerned with oil rigs…) to replace Millets, whilst still volunteering at the park.
What is your current job?
I’ve been a Graduate Ecologist with Hyder Consulting [now Arcadis). I’m specialising in bird surveying so far (a skill which keeps one in demand over the winter months!), but have also surveyed for GCNs (Great Crested Newts) – trapping and eDNA [environmental DNA is DNA “that’s released into the environment by plants and animals in a host of ways, e.g. from their skin, faeces, hair, eggs and sperm, or when they die”; fresh water habitats, badgers and undertaken Phase 1 habitat surveys.
This has all been part of a 150km long project in Cumbria for the National Grid, which carries on at least until next summer – there’s no end in sight!
Typical day in the current job...
Wake up at 3:30am, out of the door at 4 am and on site for a pre-dawn survey start – though with the days getting shorter, dawn’s getting blessedly later. Most of the time we’re on Vantage Point surveys for birds that pose a collision risk with electricity pylons/lines; what this really means is spending six hours a day watching gulls, a few more gulls … and the odd barn owl (there’s always an upside!).
Most favourite part of your current job?
Working outdoors – I’m rarely in the office, which suits me nicely. There’s also a great team spirit between all of the surveyors.
… least favourite part?
Travelling and being away from home. Spending 6+ hours on the M5 & M6 twice a week does get a bit tiring. I’m also getting used to spending around 20 days and nights a month away from home (though this does save on the food shopping!).
How did your course at Bath Spa help to prepare you for employment?
The modules I chose gave me a great footing for going into consultancy; most of my colleagues have needed a Masters degree to get into consultancy, but clearly a BSc from Bath Spa is well thought of! One of my colleagues is even an ex-BSU student.
Best experience/memory of your time at Bath Spa?
Samba!! Gigging with the Bloco Talento samba band at a Brazilian nightclub in London was pretty sweet!
Top tip(s)/advice for current Bath Spa Biologists/Environmental Scientists?
Get involved with stuff! After joining the Bloco Talento samba band you should definitely get down to some work experience/volunteering. I wouldn’t have my current job if I hadn’t spent a few months doing so!