Theresa Zett

Like many people in the environmental sector, my interest in nature and wildlife started early in my childhood, where I spent a lot of time investigating the outdoors (and bringing home plenty rocks, feathers, branches and whatever else I could find, much to the dismay of my mother…). Spending time outdoors is still one of my favourite past-times, be it a simple stroll around the fields, going birding, or hiking up a mountain.

This passion for nature led me to move from my home in Germany to the UK to study Wildlife Conservation on a beautiful rural campus. There I not only spent time outdoors exploring and watching wildlife, managing habitats or doing research, but I also learned an incredible amount about the world around us. From animal physiology and ecology to environmental policies and the structure and workings of conservation projects, it was all fascinating to me!

Through volunteering and internships, I was able to work across Europe and Southern Africa doing wildlife research, habitat management and educational projects with some wonderful and passionate people. I learned that working with wildlife really means working with people, and that engaging directly with the public often is the most effective way to achieve success. Conservation cannot happen with top-down rules, but must come from a united effort of all parties involved.

Over the last year I have been drawn back closer to home and was thrilled to find the European Wilderness Society offering the chance to join them for 12 months as a European Solidarity Corps volunteer. Over this time, I will hopefully work on many different projects and learn even more about biodiversity, the montane regions and how to engage with people and ensure a future for both wildlife and humans.