Jake Elward - Environmental science, marine science and management

To complement his studies, Jake chose to work in Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) on a project which analyses the impacts of campground use within Mount Barney National Park.

Jake’s placement included field work, followed by a written report collating his data and research to help inform management of the park.

Jake’s feedback on his placement experience:

Is/has the placement been relevant to your studies?

Yes. I study environmental science/marine science and management. The placement has primarily focused on the management component of my studies along with aspects of plant identification, geology, GIS mapping, outdoor education, land degradation and rehabilitation, and environmental information analysis.

What have you learnt?

I’ve learnt, and gained a greater appreciation, into how much work and effort goes into each and every decision made in park and conservation management, and that many different people have a role to play.

I’ve also learnt how to measure different environmental parameters and the effect they have on a campsite, and then, in turn within the park i.e. erosion, weed invasion, soil exposure, and so much more, including report writing and team work skills.

What have you enjoyed the most?

I have enjoyed getting to know all my colleagues as they are all extremely helpful, knowledgeable and friendly people. Learning how the government functions and being out in the real world has been a great experience. What I have enjoyed most would be the field work and getting hands-on outside, completing campsite monitoring and seeing natural places in which I may have never known about or had the privilege of seeing unless I completed this placement.

Which three words would best describe your placement experience?

Beneficial, educational, challenging.

"Jake was very interested and engaged in the project. He was organised and willing to collect relevant data relating to campsite sustainability (even though it sometimes meant walking fairly long distances into remote areas in hot conditions!)."— Diana Hughes, industry placement supervisor.