“Biodiversity conservation is my passion, and working for Landcare in Sydney means that I get to apply my university knowledge to programs that benefit Sydney’s natural environment.”
I have a BSc in biological sciences and arts, and am a Local Landcare Coordinator for Greater Sydney Landcare Network. Landcare is an on-ground grassroots movement dedicated to managing environmental issues in local communities. Historically, the movement has been associated with agriculture and rural areas.
The formation of a Landcare network to support Greater Sydney’s local environmental groups and Landcare’s urban counterpart, Bushcare, using the Landcare network structure is a relatively recent development.
My passion for protecting urban ecosystems began with growing up in the USA. The cities in my home state, Michigan, thrived from the 20’s to the 70’s from a car manufacturing industry that eventually declined in the 80’s.
These cities have a long history of industrial pollution and it wasn’t uncommon when I was growing up to see froth and scum floating on the surface of local rivers and to be warned to stay out of the water. After school, I moved to Perth, Western Australia where my dad is from. Western Australia is sparsely populated and I was struck by how untouched its natural areas are compared to the developed landscapes that were normal where I grew up. I first experienced urban Landcare during a summer job I had while at university in Perth pulling Geraldton carnation weed and rose pelargonium from coastal heath reserves.
After finishing undergrad I moved from Perth to Sydney to find a balance between nature and a faster-paced life. Sydney is a unique city in that it has many small fragments of remnant bushland embedded within its urban matrix. I completed my honours in Sydney and the focus of my thesis was the effects of urbanised landscapes on ant species diversity using many of these small reserves as study sites.
Biodiversity conservation is my passion, and working for Landcare in Sydney means that I get to apply my university knowledge to programs that benefit Sydney’s natural environment.
I’m excited to take part in the Young Sustainability Ambassador program to develop my skills in communicating the importance of conserving biodiversity in cities. Currently, my main focus at work is engaging schools and young adults in Landcare. Young adults are largely missing from the Landcare movement and I am looking forward to making connections to like-minded young people as a Young Sustainability Ambassador.