In their own words …
The IAPETUS Placement Scheme gave me the amazing opportunity to work at CSIRO in Brisbane, Australia for three months. Whilst there I worked with CSIRO scientists on their ambitious invasive species projects and visited university departments in Brisbane itself as well as in Melbourne and Sydney, giving me the opportunity to discuss my research with world class scientists from the other side of the world. Over the three months, I learnt new analysis techniques, contributed to drafting a peer-reviewed article, made many great research contacts, and saw a new part of the world!
The IAPETUS scheme allowed me to pause my PhD for the time I was away and paid for travel and accommodation, meaning I didn’t have to worry about approaching deadlines or being out of pocket. I highly recommend taking advantage of the placement scheme, as besides the fact that it will benefit my professional life beyond my PhD, it was fantastic fun!
As part of the IAPETUS Placement Scheme I spent three months working on a long-term research project for the Earthwatch Institute in Waterton Lakes National Park, in the Canadian Rockies. As a field technician, my responsibilities involved tracking ungulates and carnivores and assessing fire severity following prescribed and natural fires. Through this work, I learned new methods of field data collection, developed a better understanding of ecological processes, and saw a lot of wildlife! I worked closely with renowned scientists and resource managers from the Kainai First Nation and was especially fortunate to be able to attend the KEPA Summit on climate change, giving me the opportunity to listen to ecologists and other scientists from Parks Canada, Lethbridge University, Oregon State University, and the Kainai Ecosystem Protection Association. The talks covered key environmental issues such as climate change, traditional ecological knowledge, and re-wilding. I was also able to discuss my own research with them.
Without the financial support of the IAPETUS Placement Scheme, I would not have been able to work with Earthwatch. Because I was allowed to pause my PhD, I didn’t have to worry about added time constraints on my own project. The experience I gained in the field and the connections I made during this placement will benefit my professional and academic career, both now and in the future. I highly encourage IAPETUS students to take advantage of the Placement Scheme, which for me was an incredible and life-changing experience.