Two New Student Naturalists

We are pleased to Welcome Aimee Shovlar and Carter Smith to the NHSN team as our new Student Naturalists. Find out more about them in this new blog.

Aimee Shovlar

Hello, my name is Aimee, and I am one of the two student naturalists working with NHSN, I will be here from September 2023 to June 2024. I hope that this placement will help me to understand the inner workings of a wildlife charity as well as help me to understand natural history on a deeper level. I heard about this charity while looking for museums to go to in Newcastle and after reading about the society a bit more I saw they had a placement option for students, and I applied.

I am a zoology student at the University of Cumbria in my third year, but I am a long way from home as I am originally from Essex. Where I grew up, there weren’t many nature reserves or natural areas for me to explore but I became fascinated with urban wildlife from the garden birds to the spiders that would visit my home. I love that nature is all around us and we can interact with it in so many ways.

While at the university I started a hedgehog society which aims to make my campus hedgehog friendly by building hog houses, doing litter picks and encouraging other wildlife to thrive, I still help out where I can while on placement. My dream career is to be a natural history museum curator who occasionally does wildlife surveys on the side, and I believe this placement will help me achieve these goals. I am so thankful for this opportunity, and I hope I am able to make a difference while I am here.

Carter Smith

Joining the NHSN as a student naturalist is a very exciting step for me in my journey towards working in conservation science and the team at the NHSN couldn’t be more welcoming and helpful. I have always had an interest I wildlife, particularly birds and being able to join the NHSN to help me pursue my goals is certainly a great feeling and makes my dream of working with wildlife seen much more attainable. As an aspiring ecologist and ornithologist, I believe this role will be very relevant and useful towards my future goals and allow me to form new connections and enjoy new relevant experiences and opportunities. 

This placement with the NHSN will allow me to gain useful experience in the conservation sector – something that is quite hard to find, as well as help me inspire others to take an active interest in conservation and nature, something that has always been an interest of mine. Some examples of available activities include helping at the fantastic Gosforth Nature Reserve, attending and assisting with bioblitz talks, designing eye-catching posters and visiting nature reserves around the northeast to learn about ongoing projects. 

I am greatly looking forward to furthering my activities in this role and there’s no organization I’d rather do it with than the NHSN, since they do so much for wildlife conservation in the northeast.