Scott Roe | Senior Ecologist | Vital Ecology
Welcome to the forth in a new series by Ecology Jobs where we uncover what it’s like to work ‘Inside The Industry’. These are a growing series of short interviews with professionals working inside the Ecological Consultancy sector. Today we’re speaking with Scott Roe BSc (Hons) ACIEEM AMRSB, Senior Ecologist at Vital Ecology.
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Why do you work as an ecologist?
I’ve been involved in conservation, ecology and wildlife-related activities for as long as I can remember and get massive satisfaction from helping to create better ecological outcomes.
What are the main activities in your current role?
Although I spend at least half of my time these days conducting research, report writing, analyzing data and checking for legal compliance I make sure that I still get some time with boots on the ground.
I still manage to get out in the field for things like ‘peat sampling’, scrambling down ravines for hydropower surveys, and conducting Otter, Water Vole, bird, and invertebrates surveys. I took an unusual route to where I am now and a big step for me was attending university for the first time as a mature student just a few years ago and this really helped me to revisit the science and ideas that underpin what I do on a daily basis.
What is it like to work for your organisation?
I own and manage the consultancy that I work for, so it is a little different chatting about what the company is like to work for! I am lucky in that I can be flexible in my hours when I really need to be but on the other hand, the buck stops with so I’m responsible for managing all of the projects as well as the tedious stuff like insurance and risk assessments which has been particularly challenging and stressful during this COVID period.
What careers advice would you give someone wishing to follow in your footsteps?
The main advice I would give to someone in this sector is to take advantage of the many excellent free courses that you can now access from great universities around the world and push yourself into learning-related subject matter that is outside of your comfort zone. I recently completed an excellent free distance learning course on ‘Epidemics and The dynamics of disease’ with the Pennsylvania State University and there are literally hundreds of these courses that you can take advantage of to get ahead in the field without spending a penny. We need good ecologists more than ever in these challenging times and I recommend that people take that leap and step outside of the comfort zone as this is where we can learn the most and in a short space of time.
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