Training and Talks
Gaining employment in nature conservation organisations and ecological consultancies can be difficult without any real experience of completing fieldwork or dealing with clients or the general public regardless of degree qualifications or other transferrable skills. Attending courses on the ecology of specific species or survey methodologies can be expensive and beyond the pocket of a job seeking or career changing would-be ecologist.
At Aquila Ecology we aim to provide affordable, practical and real-life scenario based training to help equip people with the skills they need to confidently apply for jobs in the conservation or ecological consultancy sectors.
Introduction to ecological survey skills - 2023 dates to be confirmed
We offer an intensive 4 day course (2 full days and 2 half days) in basic bunk-house style accommodation where you will be expected to work as a team to complete field-based tasks and will also be required to help with preparing meals and cleaning up. This helps to keep the cost of the training down but also prepares you for jobs where you may be sharing accommodation with other colleagues, sometimes in remote places with basic amenities. The types of survey skills that will be covered include protected species such as bat activity surveys; river surveys for Otter and Water Vole (Europen Beaver will also be covered); vantage point bird surveys; raptor surveys and Phase 1 habitat surveys. Report writing skills and basic mapping will also be covered.
Local pick ups can be arranged from nearby towns and villages by prior arrangement.
Maximum occupancy is 8.
Dates : TBC
If interested, please click on the 'enquiry' button below to request the full course outline. We are now accepting bookings as well.
Communications Skills in the Conservation Sector - dates by arrangement
Many of the advertised jobs within the conservation sector require applicants to have excellent communication skills to enable them to lead guided walks, sell memberships, give talks and train volunteers. This does not come naturally to everyone and these skills are rarely taught in schools and universities. Providing excellent customer service is also something that will be expected of anyone working on a nature reserve or as a Countryside Ranger for example, and knowing how to provide this will help further your career prospects. Knowing how to handle difficult situations and people is vital in any public facing role and this not something many people starting out are adequately prepared for.
In this two day weekend course you will learn the following strategies: how to look confident when you feel anything but; a method for successful selling; how to be assertive; how to deal with difficult situations including managing conflict; how to devise an informative talk and how to predict people’s needs. The group will be kept small (6 max) so that there is time on the last day for a 1-1 session to discuss any further training or mentoring required or for advice on CV writing or interview skills. There will also be an informal Questions and Answers session with other professionals within the industry who can share some of their experiences with you.
Lifts can be provided from and to Dunblane or Perth train stations. There is also a bus service from Perth (direct) and Stirling (with a change in Crieff).
Schools and Communities
We can also provide training to schools and community groups wishing to complete their own surveys (Citizen Science) and for training to complete a specific community project. Activities can include: pond dipping; bat roost surveys; using bat detectors; river surveys; common lichen surveys; creating wildlife gardens and bee or butterfly walks.
Talks and Presentations
We can also deliver talks and presentations on request. Topics include:
- Massacre on migration – this presentation illustrates the problems birds face on migration over places such as Malta and Cyprus and provides personal experiences of working in raptor protection camps.
- Raptor Persecution – this presentation deals with some of the issues in our countryside with wildlife crime and focuses on how this impacts the populations of certain raptor species within the UK.
- Bats and the law – this talk aims to provide you as business or home owners with the knowledge of what you can and can’t do if you have bats at your property and ways of providing mitigation so that you and the bats can live peacefully together.
- Pandas and me– in this presentation Andrea gives an overview of panda ecology, the threats they face, why it’s so hard for them to breed and shares some of her personal experiences of working at Edinburgh Zoo with Tian Tian and Yang Guang.
There is a standard charge of £30.00 for the above talks (based on a 1 hour talk including questions) and donations to a specific conservation charity will be requested.