Hello and thanks for reading!
I am passionate about conservation, exploration and education. I believe it is impossible to work towards maintaining biodiverse and sustainable ecosystems for the future without creating awareness or promoting environmental responsibility and leadership in future generations.
Having worked for a number of years as a science teacher I have now stepped out of the classroom and moved into research as a Ph.D student at the University of Liverpool. Having grappled with the decision to change careers I do not wish to sever ties or forget the reasons I went into teaching in the first place.
So I created this blog with two main aims:
- To share my experiences of changing careers, along with my ideas on teaching and education
- To extend science communication beyond only the field of academia. By creating a medium to share and enthuse others to care about our natural environment.
Stephanie started her academic studies at the University of Liverpool, graduating with a first class honours degree in Zoology in 2005. She has now returned 10 years later to embark on a Ph.D degree in Environmental Science. The intervening years have led Stephanie to explore the world of teaching, expeditions and youth development spanning wild areas from the beauty of the Scottish highlands and Lake District to the deserts of Namibia and Oman to the lush rainforests in Peru and the Philippines.
Teaching English to students in the small Chinese town of Jinzhou in North East China sparked Stephanie’s passion for teaching. Returning to the UK to complete her PGCE in secondary science Stephanie started her teaching career in an 11-16 comprehensive school in Stockport before moving to Loreto Sixth Form College in Moss Side, Manchester. Challenging, amusing, rewarding, surprising, inspiring, maddening, entertaining and tiring are just a selection of adjectives she uses to describe the world of teaching.
Throughout her teaching career Stephanie’s love of the outdoors and of field research filtered through into facets of her teaching. Spending numerous rainy weekends assuring bedraggled students that getting lost is a righteous pass that all must go through to become a sound navigator as she helped them to complete their Duke of Edinburgh Award. As an undergraduate she spent 6 weeks as a research assistant in the rainforests of Buton Island, Sulawesi for Operation Wallacea. This unforgettable experience left a lasting impression drawing her back to work in rainforests time and time again. Summer holidays were taken full advantage of by leading expeditions in the Peruvian Amazon as chief scientist and as chief leader over 4 consecutive years for the British Exploring Society (BES). Facilitating other young people to have that same unforgettable experience. Although tropical rainforests may be her passion there is no escaping from the draw of wild, remote environments. A further stint as a science leader for BES led her to the deserts and skeleton coast of Namibia.
No longer completely fulfilled with teaching within the confines of specifications, regulations and results driven establishments (a consequence of league tables and governance) Stephanie began to pursue fulfilment in furthering her own education. Gaining an MSc in Conservation Biology from Manchester Metropolitan University, graduating with distinction whilst still teaching full time. Drawn back to the rainforests once more Stephanie completed her MSc thesis tracking frugivorous monitor lizards in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range in North Eastern Philippines. Working alongside the conservation organisation Mabuwaya foundation Stephanie was inspired by the successful integration of conservation, education and community involvement demonstrated by Mabuwaya.
Now pursuing her interest in field research full time she is returning once again to tropical rainforests. Joining the funkyant team as a Ph.D student at the University of Liverpool she will be conducting her research in Borneo. In between teaching, study and expeditions Stephanie is a member of the extremely busy South Lancashire Bat Group (SLBG), although she will readily admit she doesn’t get to help out as much as she would like. Any spare time she has often involves heading out to the mountains for a hike or climb or to ride out on her much loved road bike.