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Katie Awarded Scholarship to Help Fund South African Conservation Expedition

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A student from Canvey Island is looking forward to the chance to volunteer in one of the most spectacular natural environments in the world after being awarded a university scholarship.

Katie Amey, a Conservation Ecology student at the University of Worcester, will travel to South Africa this summer, to work with conservation research group, Operation Wallacea.

She has been awarded financial assistance by the University’s Scholarship Panel, which benefits students who undertake extra-curricular activities in areas such as sport, music and the arts, as well as volunteering projects.

Katie, who will spend four weeks in South Africa over the summer, explains: “While I have volunteered before, I have not yet had the opportunity to volunteer in my field of interest. I am keen to get involved to learn stills that will complement my course and my career aspirations as an Ecological Consultant.

“The trip originally caught my attention because of the opportunity it provides to work alongside professionals and learn their skills, whilst spending time around animals that I would not normally get the opportunity to be in contact with.”

During her four weeks in South Africa, Katie will be undertaking research in areas such as savannah ecology, elephant impact on vegetation, bird diversity and Indian Ocean Reef Ecology. She says that the varied nature of the project will provide her with invaluable experience and inspiration for her third year dissertation.

She continues: “During my expedition, I will be put into high pressure situations, such as that in the game reserve. We will have to be assisted by trained guards at all times, and will be trained in what to do if the volumes of dangerous animals become too high.

“This will be vital in personal development of being able to remain calm, logical, and safe in high level stress situations under tight time constraints.

“I am extremely grateful for the contribution from the University,” she says of the scholarship. “It shows that they really care about helping their students achieve the best in life and are willing to help them get there, even through external projects.

“Without contributions such as this, many activities can’t take place, so it is great that the University set aside funding for volunteering each year.”