Events for young people in Scotland
Places now available to book for SOC and/or BTO Members. Booking opens to the general public from 9am on Monday 13th September. Places are limited and available first come, first served.
The SOC and BTO Scotland are excited to launch a new series of free, monthly events for people under 30.
Delivered on Zoom, attendees will enjoy a diverse programme of interactive online workshops and talks from some of Scotland’s top ornithologists, naturalists and creatives.
| Talks | Discussion | Q & A
Are you interested in a career related to wildlife, conservation or nature? Join us for this online event to find out how to pursue your ideal job. Our panel have had successful careers in a wide variety of fields. They’ll be on hand to tell you about their experiences, and give examples of the type of exciting job opportunities open to you. From chef to Birding & Science Officer at the SOC, and water bailiff to the Head of Investigations at RSPB Scotland, the panel will discuss the different pathways they’ve taken so far to get there. This event could be the start of your future – don’t miss out!
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Liza Cole, Director, 'In Our Nature' Tour Company
Liza has been fortunate enough to work as a Ranger in the field of nature conservation and countryside management for the last 30 years. During that time, Liza lived in and looked after some truly fabulous places, including, until recently, St Abb's Head (East Berwickshire). The financial crisis brought about by Covid 19 resulted in Liza being made redundant from her job as Property Manager/Senior Ranger at St Abbs. However Liza saw this as the start of a new opportunity and a chance to return to doing the things she likes the best, sharing her love for nature and wildlife with others. And so Liza's tour company, In Our Nature, offering nature walks, talks and courses alongside countryside advice and services, was born!
Mark Lewis, Birding & Science Officer, SOC
Mark is the SOC’s Birding & Science Officer. Before that, he was an Offshore Monitoring Ornithologist with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), working on community science and other means of seabird monitoring offshore. He has also worked on monitoring at proposed windfarm sites, tracking studies and aerial surveys, and written environmental statements.
In the dim and distant past, Mark was a chef for seven years. His career path is probably a little different to most people working in conservation, as he has no academic qualifications beyond school.
Nina O'Hanlon, Research Ecologist, BTO Scotland
Nina is a Research Ecologist at BTO Scotland, and is also Secretary of the SOC Caithness Branch. She has had a varied career path which began with a range of short-term conservation positions, from seasonal ranger to assistant ecologist roles, before realising how much she enjoyed research. This led to a PhD and post doc researching seabird ecology, and then to the BTO in a role that combines conservation and research.
Gus Routledge, Ecologist
Gus is a self-employed ecologist, specialising in habitat surveys such as the national vegetation classification, herbivore impact assessment and peatland surveys. His passion lies in ecological restoration and as a result can be found exploring all corners of Scotland, trying to get a better understanding of our ecosystems. He studied Countryside Management at Scotland's Rural College whilst also making the most of any free time by volunteering and taking any opportunities that came to him, such as the SOC/Isle of May Young Birders' Training Course week.
Ian Thomson, Head of Investigations, RSPB Scotland
Originally from Aberdeen, Ian did an Ecology degree at Edinburgh University before working in a range of roles including a deer stalker and water bailiff to pay off his student overdraft. He spent a couple of years working on a fish farm, then did a variety of contracts including in bird research, as a Countryside Ranger, and as an RSPB Information Assistant before becoming Warden at Aberlady Bay Nature Reserve, a post he held for almost 15 years. Ian left to work for RSPB in their wildlife crime Investigations team in 2006, and has lead their investigations work in Scotland since 2012.
Ian has been a birder for 40 years and would describe himself as a keen, but average bird photographer, a slowish, but determined cyclist and a big fan of Aberdeen FC!
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