Hi everyone! My name is Imogen (Immy) and I am one of four European Solidarity Corps volunteers participating in the Island Birds project with Biom. I am currently based on Lastovo Island, but will spend my time supporting nature conservation on various islands and in different cities around Croatia including Hvar, Split and Cres.
I am 22 and from Newcastle in the North-East of England, with a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of Exeter’s Cornwall campus in Penryn. During my time there, I was able to conduct fieldwork in a variety of places including Scotland and South Africa. I also had the opportunity to be involved in community outreach events and it was this combination that resulted in me knowing I wanted a career in engagement and education.
After university, I worked as an Outdoor Instructor near London, teaching activities such as climbing, archery and nature exploration to young children. This position showed me the necessity of getting children into the outdoors and hands-on with the natural world, so they would feel compelled to help protect it.
I then moved to Singapore for a few months to work as a Field Biologist around South-East Asia, where I taught school students techniques for gathering biological data. I was lucky enough to have some amazing wildlife experiences both in the sea and on land, including seeing a slow loris, multiple sharks and turtles who had just hatched finding their way to the sea.
As my time in Singapore was ending, I chose to apply for the Island Birds project as a way of bringing together my current skills in public education and to learn more about hands-on conservation and gain new skills, which will help me develop professionally.
Since arriving in Croatia less than a month ago, I have had the opportunity to do just that, and I have also had some amazing experiences such as seeing European shag chicks on their nest, watching dolphins swim near our boat, and visiting the island of Palagruža, which is closer to Italy than it is to Croatia.
I look forward to visiting more islands, learning the language, and developing exciting outreach programmes for the local communities I’ll be part of!
Imogen is a participant of the Island Birds project implemented by the Association Biom as part of the European Solidarity Corps program.