PhD in Environmental Biology
Lismore City Council, Environmental Strategy Officer (Ecology)
What I do now:
"I have both a strategic and compliance role as an ecologist in local government. Although 'ecologist' is my title, I'm more of an 'environmental planner' than an ecologist.
In my strategic role I am responsible for managing the development of a Biodiversity Management Strategy (BMS) and a Koala Plan of Management (KPoM). The biggest part of the BMS project is mapping vegetation across the Local Government Area. I've had to brief a consultant ecologist company to do this work but I'll be conducting a large portion of the fieldwork with them - yay!
The KPoM involves developing a strategic framework . I've briefed a specialist consultant in koala ecology to work on this project and again involves bucket loads of community consultation. The KPoM is developed under the auspices of State Environmental Planning Policy and I'm working closely with Department of Planning and Department of Environment Climate Change and Water
In my compliance role I am responsible for assessing development applications (e.g. an urban subdivision) and rezoning proposals (e.g. rezoning land from rural to urban land use). To do this I need to have a good understanding of ecological theory, ecological methods and how this all applies to NSW legislation. Community consultation plays a large part in local government so this takes up a large part of my time."
My career path:
- If I stay in local government I need to broaden my scope from ecology/biodiversity to Natural Resource Management in general.
- If I move into consulting my role in local government would hold me in good stead as a consultant because unless they work entirely on large jobs (e.g. infrastructure) most of the work ecological consultants do is for development applications and rezoning proposals