“What my internship has taught me so far is that more often than not conservation is more about people than it is about the environment itself. Through my work I am learning what it is that I am really passionate about, which is giving me a clearer idea of the kind of work I would like to be doing in the future.”
Growing up on a sheep farm in the Karoo fostered in Louise a deep appreciation for the beauty and sustenance that the natural environment provides. This appreciation for nature was reinforced during biology classes in high school. A lover of home, good food and beauty, Louise enjoys being given flowers and is happiest when spending time with family and friends. She looks forward to having a rewarding career that allows her to continue to enjoy the people and places that are dear to her.
Having enjoyed the natural environment so much as a child, Louise felt compelled to contribute to its conservation as an adult. She believes that while we develop and use natural resources, we should also take appropriate steps to protect the gift that we have in the environment so that those same resources will be available for future generations. To this end, Louise obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology and Ocean & Atmospheric Science and an Honours degree in Zoology from the University of Cape Town. She subsequently completed her Master of Science degree in Conservation Biology through the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town. She is now committed to applying this academic training usefully within an applied conservation context.
Louise is currently based at the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) in the Cape Town offices as part of its conservation unit. Her internship is focused on estuary management and fulfilling an advocacy role in the form of commenting on development applications, relevant government publications and new policy developments. She also provides support for WESSA’s USAID Stepping Up to Sustainability Project as a junior project manager for the Western Cape region. What she hopes to attain from this internship is a better understanding of exactly which niche in the environmental field is suited to her interests and abilities, which are linked to concepts of stewardship and ecosystem service benefits.
Louise would like to further her career at a research-based consultancy or NGO, focusing her efforts on food security, stewardship, poverty alleviation and sustainability. She would also like to be involved in work that exposes her to the international environmental sector.