Fergus Hill (BA)

My path to working for the European Wilderness Society is a little different from the typical applicant in that my previous studies and experiences have not been as strongly linked to the field of conservation, environmental policy and science communication or protected area-management. However, from an early age I knew that I wanted to make sure my life’s work contributed towards a greater cause that beneffited the planet in some way, inspired by my uncle’s work and the experiences and achievements he made within the field of humanitarianism. At university, I initially studied one year in International Relations and Development Studies at the University of Westminster in London before realising I wanted to learn more about different cultures and people in a modern context. This is what led me to studying American Studies at the University of Kent. Focussing on contemporary U.S. politics and issues, I thoroughly enjoyed learning what motivated these Americans based on their unique History and cultures and what drew so many people to create this nation of immigrants that produced so many new forms of, and movements within, music, art, politics and thinking.

One particular module I thoroughly enjoyed was studying U.S. environmental problems in the 20th century which introduced me to Aldo Leopold, considered by many as the father of the U.S. wilderness system, and his land ethic, which called for an extension of people’s consicence towards the natural world as cohabitants of a biotic community. This expansion of people’s perceptions of the natural world is what drew me in, especially the move away from an anthropocentric view of nature as a resource to be managed and instead towards an increasing regard for what it could teach us as well as a greater appreciation for it’s intrinsic value in itself. This is why I’m glad to be joining the European Wilderness Society as an ESC volunteer and continuing to push for these principles to be applied in our remaining wilderness areas as well as in ongoing conservation projects.