We spoke with Gwendoline, the Program Officer for the Department of Conservation and the Manager of the ERuDeF Great Apes Program. We are excited to be working with her on a modelling project in collaboration with Newcastle University!
Here's what Gwendoline would say to an aspiring conservationist...
Firstly, you should be led by what drives you and be passionate about what you want to do. It shouldn’t be about the money but the passion for what you do. Secondly, you have to be determined and hard working and only your vision of what you want to become will drive you through this career. It is actually very challenging and only your passion for conservation can enable you to pull through.
When I started my conservation career at the ERuDeF Institute, I was in a class of 10 students, after the first year, I was left in my class alone. Others could not continue after our first field work in the forest and they decided to switch to other courses. When I started making frequent field visit my family became scared and tried to discourage me about the profession. The only thing that was exciting to them was seeing me in the forest with whites from other countries. This story I am telling you is to let you know how challenging the job is and to prepare you psychologically. If you are aspiring to become a conservationist then let my story inspire you.
Today I am so excited and happy because I am living a dream and am excited of what conservation has made me to understand about life. Don’t give up on your dream believe in yourself and no matter how long it takes, you will definitely get there.