I don’t have all that much to report at the moment. My research with the RSPB is ticking over nicely but is still very much in the collating and analysis stage. I work from either the Coombes and Churnet Reserve, or from the Peak District National Park Authority Office in Bakewell – which are about as contrasting work places as it is possible to have. At Churnet we are essentially sat in a large shed with a wood burning stove, at the PDNPA office I have a elasticated swipe card clipped to my belt to get me through various security doors in their huge warren of a building.
Since starting I have attended a few days training at the regional RSPB office in Banbury, primarily teaching me how to use their in house GIS system. So far I have taken to it very well, probably thanks to using ArcGIS back during my undergraduate degree. I’ve also had various inductions and my first partnership meeting to discuss our progress. I came away with 3 A4 pages of notes so it’s safe to say there is plenty to do!
I am thoroughly enjoying being challenged academically once again, and playing around with GIS. It’s also been lovely to meet and work with people from the RSPB, PDNPA, Natural England and others. In a beautiful turn of serendipity, of all the possible RSPB reserves, a good friend of mine also happened to start working from Coombes within a few weeks of me. He’s completing the final 6 months of a year long ranger internship there so our roles are very different, but we share an office and many a lunch break.