I am incredibly grateful to have received a grant from the James Pantyfedwen Foundation to support my studies in a MSc in Environmental Policy and Management at the University of Bristol. The financial support through the challenging circumstances of Covid-19 pandemic has been invaluable.
During my studies, I completed a diverse variety of modules that has consolidated a multidisciplinary foundation in environmental science developed from my undergraduate studies in geography. I have reinforced my background in physical sciences, developing a strong understanding of climate change science, statistical methods, and advanced computational/data science methods such as remote sensing and geographical information systems (GIS). These skills have been honed for use in research and policy. A particular highlight has been to use apply these skills in a consultancy project in partnership with North Somerset Council to support their recently launched rewilding scheme. We completed a report that used desk-based research, questionnaires and interviews to develop best-practice recommendations and quantify the initial benefits of their programme. It was a real privilege to convert theoretical knowledge gained from my studies into real action, whilst acquiring insight into the practical difficulties that local governments face in tackling the Climate and Ecological Emergencies.
Additionally, the course has allowed me to explore my personal interests. I have had the freedom to undertake modules rooted in the critical social sciences. Particularly, I enjoyed my module in Environmental Policy and Politics. Following this, I undertook a dissertation using interpretative linguistic methods to study the discourse emerging around carbon dioxide removal methods in the UK policy process. Although a challenging experience given my background in physical sciences, I have gained considerable skills in qualitative research and enjoyed engaging in different areas of academia with support from distinguished scholars.
The course has allowed me to reconsider my employment prospects and interests. I am searching for work in the environmental sector with a social policy focus. I am optimistic for opportunities in the future and am sure that the skills I have gained from my postgraduate degree will stand me in good stead. This would, of course, not have been possible without the generous support from the James Pantyfedwen Foundation and I will carry their values into my prospective endeavours.