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Mary-Kate Jones - BSc Applied Terrestrial and Marine Ecology and MSc Conservation and Land Management

Name: Mary-Kate Jones
Degree: BSc Applied Terrestrial and Marine Ecology, MSc Conservation and Land Management

Now works as: Project Manager
Now works for: Snowdonia Society

I studied in SENRGY for both my BSc in Applied Terrestrial and Marine Ecology and my MSc in Conservation and land management. The experiences and ideas that both courses provided me with stay with me today and I am so glad that I made the decision to study here.

Highlights include spending the summer of my second year surveying two local rivers and the third year field trip to Tenerife.  Many of the field trips arranged locally, particularly during my MSc, were just as exciting as Tenerife and actually introduced me to some places which I still love to visit now.  Being based in the SENRGY is definitely an experience I would recommend.

The department is just the right size; with enough students that you’re sure to make friends for life (I certainly did), but being small enough that you quickly get to know members of staff.  It has a very friendly atmosphere and staff and students are so helpful and enthusiastic that you quickly feel like you belong. 

During my time studying for both degrees, I volunteered at Treborth Botanic Gardens, as a peer guide in welcome week and at a local Environmental Centre.  When I finished studying for my MSc, I was lucky enough to be offered a job as Conservation Project Officer at the Environmental Centre where I was a volunteer.  This role allowed me to develop my skills further and I now work as Project Manager for the Snowdonia Society.  The Snowdonia Society is a local conservation charity which as the name suggests works to protect and enhance Snowdonia National Park.  I am responsible for the overall management and running of the Snowdonia Society's conservation volunteering projects - from budgets and advertising to brain storming ideas of future volunteer events and training opportunities. 

I realised the importance of volunteering and gaining practical conservation experience whilst completing both my degrees at Bangor University. 

I am convinced that I would not be in the job I am in today if it weren't for my degrees and my experiences as a volunteer - they really do go hand in hand!  Since starting this job, I have been keen to help students gain as much experience as possible during their time at Bangor University.  I am still in contact with many of the lecturers in SENRGY and through them arrange visits and talks to new students starting at Bangor, and also advertise the volunteer and training opportunities which are available with the Snowdonia Society.