Author Archives: Aaron Swann

Planet Earth 2 – Islands – Michael McCoy

Planet Earth 2 – Islands – Michael McCoy

Planet Earth 2 – Islands

Blog by Michael McCoy

Hi guys, so I was tasked with watching the BBC documentary “Planet Earth II” and writing about the different adaptations within the animal kingdom. The programme is narrated by Sir David Attenborough and focuses on how many different animal species have managed to live together and adapt to the changing environment around them. The first episode was based on many different islands around the world which are generally very small and nearly untouched by man. Due to the lack of human activity, habitats have been allowed to grow and remain undisturbed.

 Komodo Island in Indonesia is home to the largest lizard species in the world known as the Komodo dragon. A very large and fierce predator, the Komodo dragon dominates the island. Due to few resources of food, the Komodo dragon has adapted by being able to live on a single meal a month at a time. They do this by lowering their metabolic rate and take in heat from the sun to warm themselves rather than keep a constant body temperature like ourselves. When it comes to seeking a partner, body size is everything as large males can overpower smaller males and chase off any competition. The Dragons have gained many evolutionary features to aid them such as sharp teeth, thick skin made out of scales and a large tail to injure or kill their opponents.

 The island of Madagascar has quite a unique range of habitats that contains many species which you wouldn’t find anywhere else in the world. The most famous are the Lemurs, which contain over 100 different species from one common ancestor. Each species have adapted to the environment in their own way. Some Lemurs have evolved to live in warm climates by having special kidneys that allows them to retain more water in their body. This is important as it prevents dehydration due to a lack of water in the surrounding area. Lemurs teach their young the different tricks and social skills that they have used to survive as eventually the young will have to fend for themselves.

 Fernandina island , the latest of the Galapagos islands,  formed through volcanic activity with molten lava cooling and becoming solid after an eruption. Many species have tried to live there but it is a harsh environment with little nutrients. However, the island is home to particularly strange creatures. The Marine Iguanas gather on the edge of black lava rock and dive into the sea. The reason for this is due to the Iguanas being herbivores and since there is too little vegetation on land, they dive into the ocean and eat algae. The Iguanas have adapted to the water by having partially webbed feet and specialised lungs that allow them to hold their breath for 30 minutes. They have also formed symbiotic relationships with other species. This means that both species benefit from interaction. The main example is how Sally Light Crabs feed off the mites that attach onto the Iguanas while exfoliating the iguana’s skin in the process.

 The documentary has shown how these islands are teeming with life and are home to a variety of rare and wonderful species, which have adapted to their environment over thousands of years of evolution. However, over recent decades, human activity is threatening these environments. Due to the introduction of non-native invasive species, overfishing, pollution and overall climate change, we are seeing a decline in many species as they cannot adapt fast enough. As many of the islands are quite small, they are very delicate and will not require much to upset the balance of the ecosystems and their inhabitants. Therefore it is important, as humans, to think of the actions we undertake and help reduce the activities which could potentially destroy these islands.

 

Planet Earth 2 – Islands – Sophie Gregson

Planet Earth 2 – Islands – Sophie Gregson

Planet Earth 2 – Islands

Blog by Sophie Gregson

On remote islands, such as Escudo off the coast of Panama, many wildlife face many struggles these reflect the challenges we all face with life on earth. The Pygmy three-toed sloth strives on this island with a large food source of mangroves that provide them with leaves and no predators to threaten them, however with only a few hundred Pygmy sloths left in existence, finding a mate can be difficult. A female sloth will call out which can be heard from across the island, the male sloth will travel across the island even swimming across deep water rivers to reach their mate. This can be difficult with such a large amount of area to cross at only a snails place, the whole population of the Pygmy three toed sloth is isolated on a piece of land no bigger than Central Park. Humans can also struggle to find a mate, not because of our inability to travel fast, as we are a nation of globetrotters, but due to the sure amount of people available to us at one time. Due to the constantly evolving platform of social media people have adapted to this meaning they tend to find love online as they may believe this is a better option than having to go out and work to make something happen. We are a generation of dating apps and short-lived relationships with hopeless romantics feeling defeated, with little romance left in the world the younger generations expectations are much to be desired. Being part of a society where everything is so fast-paced and readily available relationships now have to be that too.

The island of Komodo in Indonesia is home to the largest living lizards on earth, it is unusual to find predators on such small islands yet for four million years the Komodo dragon has dominated this island. With such a large predator based on this small island lack of food  would maybe be deemed a problem but with reptiles being cold blooded they only need a tenth of the food a carnivorous mammal would, one single meal could last them a month. Their biggest problem comes from others of their own kind with space being limited on the island dragon territories overlap creating continual conflict. This can also be seen among the human world, we too are our biggest predators and threat to one another. With limited space due to over population, pollution and mass unmanned landfills, the fight for land and over lapping territories have been a problem since the dawn of man.  Humans have always seen it as their right to go wherever they want to go whenever they want which has caused many wars corrupt governments along with greedy leaders have destroyed many countries and cultures.  One country trying to conquer another based on oil supply or other rare natural elements and food supply has and always will be a problem.

On bigger islands, such as Madagascar, the animals have had time to evolve and adapt to every available niche. The island is home to two hundred and fifty thousand species many not found anywhere else on earth. From one single ancestor about one hundred different types of lemurs have evolved. The indri is the largest; it hunts through the trees while the smaller ring tailed lemurs hunt in groups on the forest floor searching for fruit, the tiny bamboo lemur eats nothing but bamboo. With few competitors the lemurs have been free to colonise almost every environment on the island even the most extreme. The sifaka has a hard life being born in the harshest environment in Madagascar it rarely rains so water and food is hard to come by. Just like the lemurs the human race has evolved over thousands of years spreading widely across the planet, colonising every part. Some parts are plentiful with food and water such as America and the United Kingdom while other countries such as some in Africa find it difficult to survive just like the sifaka their land doesn’t receive a lot of rain so water and food is difficult to come by.

Over the last fifty years, ten volcanic islands have been formed, they are newly created and usually remote making them hard for colonists to reach. Fernandina one of the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific is young and still volcanically active, making it a desolate place. The surrounding sea however is particularly rich with life, making it perfect for sea going iguanas they graze on the floor of the sea but then return to live on Fernandina. By doing this the iguanas are also helping other animals to survive too, crabs feed on the dead skin on the iguanas backs while smaller reptiles feed on the flies the colony attract. Just like humans they all work together to support and provide food for one another, without the iguanas life on Fernandina would be scarce much of the wildlife relies on the iguanas to support their food chain.

To finalise in the animal kingdom there is a vast amount of similarities to the human world, they have adapted over thousands of years in order to survive the devastating effects we have had on their home. Their abilities to constantly adapt to the changing world is what ensures their survival against us.

Planet Earth 2 – Islands – Aoibhe McCarron

Planet Earth 2 – Islands – Aoibhe McCarron

Planet Earth 2 – Islands

Blog by Aoibhe McCarron

This week in quarantine; my fellow placement students and I have decided to watch Planet Earth II to see how animals adapt to their changing environment and see if there are any lessons we cant take from them. This week we watched episode 1 (in isolation of course), the episode is about islands, and aptly focuses on life in isolated or extreme environments, adapting to changing environments and working together. In the documentary David Attenborough says ‘The challenges on these islands reflect the challenges faced by all life’, islands are a microcosm of our living planet.

One of the islands in the documentary is Madagascar. Madagascar is one of the oldest islands on earth and has over 250,000 species occupying every niche. We see several lemurs in the episode, who all live extremely different lives and in different habitats. All lemurs came from a single ancestor and there are now thousands of species adapted to many different niches, which makes for little competition and harmonious living (most of the time). This evolution to such a wide range of niches is an adaptation to the vastly varied habitats in Madagascar, lemurs and other animals have been able to make their homes even in the most desolate and harshest environments to reduce competition between species. This is not dissimilar to humans adapting to living in all sorts of different environments around the world, from the deep cold of north Norway to the dry heat of the Sahara.

We then move to one of the Galapagos Islands. The island is young with lots of volcanic activity so there isn’t a great variety of species which can survive there. However, there are many reptiles living on the island. The main species are the aquatic Iguana and the Racer snake, however there are other smaller reptile species there too and these live in mutually beneficial relationships (symbiosis) with the iguanas. Small crabs and Lizards eat dead skin and flies that pester iguanas, providing them with food (and a good exfoliation for the iguanas). This behaviour is an adaptation to the volcanic environment which doesn’t provide a wide range of food sources. As humans, we too have to work together to survive. Each person in our society has a different role to play much like the different species on the Galapagos, for example we have food growers, street cleaners and nurses, all playing their part to ensure society runs smoothly.

On Christmas Island, one of the most spectacular sites is the march of the Red Crab. Unfortunately, lots of tourists share that opinion, which has increased traffic on the island causing many of the crabs to be run over. As well as this Yellow Crazy ants which have come off boats have now established a super colony on the island. They use acid to kill the Crabs, these are not a natural predator of the crabs and therefore the crabs do not have any adaptations to defend themselves. This is all down to the action of humans.

In a way, we are like a disease on the natural world in the same way that COVID-19 is on us. I really enjoyed watching planet earth II, and I think it would be great for us to take a leaf out of our neighbours in nature’s book. If the planet can change to adapt to the changes we’ve made, then surely we can change too. At this time especially, we live in competition with each other. We’ve all seen the pictures of people coming out of the supermarket with 50 toilet rolls, which causes some people to have a lack of resources ; if we could all be a little more considerate of others resources like groceries and toiletries could be shared out equally and increase all our chances of getting through this together.

Planet Earth 2 – Islands – Aine Mallon

Planet Earth 2 – Islands – Aine Mallon

Episode One- Islands

Blog by Aine Mallon

Introduction

Due to the circumstances of the pandemic situation regarding the Coronavirus, it is important for one to understand how humans could learn about how animals work with one another to survive in harsh environments. The purpose of this report is to explore the collaborations of different species and how they make living on an island together bearable for one other. Such islands have been described as a microcosm of our living planet. Island ecosystems also contribute to the maintenance of ecosystem functions, they provide defence against natural disasters, support nutrient cycling, and soil and sand formation. They contribute to the regulation of climate and diseases.

How can the size of Islands impact Species and an example?

The size of an island can have a huge influence on the fate of those cast away there.  What this means is that an island’s size also affects its biodiversity, smaller islands will have less niches, less habitats, and lower immigration which negatively impacts the food chain for the area. However, since larger islands will have a wider variety of habitats, species which arrive on the island will diversify to fill up the available niches. Larger habitat size reduces the probability of extinction due to chance events.

Example:

The Komodo dragon in Indonesia dominates the small islands here, but on these mini-continents, life experiments and evolves. The Komodo dragon has been recorded as 2.6 metres long when fully developed, which asks the questions why would such a big predator thrive on a small island when food source may be scarce? These islands are volcanic in origin, the dragons like it hot, with daytime temperatures during the dry season that often reach 95 degrees. As these islands provide warmer temperatures the predators have merely adapted to a reduced food supply. Since in one feeding, they can consume 80% of their body weight therefore, they only need small amounts of food to survive, a meal will last a Komodo dragon a month before it needs to eat again.

Remote Islands

An island, especially a remote one, may be colonised by relatively few species. This allows the members of one species to exploit numerous different lifestyles, or niches. As the individual groups adapt to their different niches, they may evolve into distinct species.

Example

The sea-going iguanas will thrive on volcanic islands, which are remote and lack nutrients they need, although the sea will provide them with their food source. Their short, blunt nose is well-adapted to feeding on algae growing on rocks. The flattened tail is perfect for swimming. Marine iguanas are an excellent example of a species well-adapted and continuing to adapt to their environment

It is important to conserve the biodiversity of the marine iguana because it is a unique and interesting animal. It is necessary to protect their island refuges from feral pests and human exploitation because they are long lived animals that cannot sustain added mortality. By bringing nutrients from the sea to the land, iguanas help other animals to survive here too, by supplying them with a food source. The animals are working together to all survive in this environment.

As the iguanas provide food for such other species, they play their part too. The crabs will eat the dead skin off the iguanas back, this assists the iguanas as it is like an exfoliation for them. As well as this, the smaller lizards that thrive on the volcanic grounds prey on the flies that pester the iguanas. It is evident how the diverse range of species accommodate one another in such a way that benefits them greatly.

What can humans learn from this during COVID-19?

It has been made evident how different species adapt to their surroundings and limited food sources available. As animals work together, we too must help others in our neighbourhood who are older and cannot get out to the shops for essentials very easy, assist them by any means possible. We need to be more sensible with buying essential goods in these unprecedented times, taking into consideration the rest of our community.

Conclusion

Although this report has mainly focused on examples of how animals adapt to change and how humans can bring different changes to their lifestyle during this pandemic. The issue of climate change and human activities regarding the destruction of isolated islands cannot be forgotten.

Island environments are particularly sensitive to human impact because their generally smaller size means resources are limited, scarce or finite, resulting in increased pressure on those resources. The global temperatures could exceed a 3°C above pre-industrial temperature increase by 2100 with global-mean sea level rise projected between one and four feet or higher, all due to climate change and ruin the isolated smaller islands. Human activities must change in a way to reduce their actions that negatively impact and increase climate change.

Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are?

Family, home and place

It’s not hard to find out who you are and about the place where you and your family come from. A recent course helped to remove the mystique of family and local history and provided some fun while learning. A five-week get-together called Family, home and place was held to help gain some tools and resources for researching family and local history, it took place during February and March at the new Gateway Centre, Antrim. The course was fully booked and culminated in a very successful visit to the Public Records Office at the Titanic Quarter in Belfast. This was facilitated under the Ulster Scots element of the Lough Neagh Landscape Partnership, funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund and Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council. The recently opened Gateway Centre on the shores of the lough seemed a very apt place to have the course, thinking about water, place, identity, travel and migration.

Who Do You Think You Are?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The was facilitated by Dr Liam Campbell of Lough Neagh Partnership and Dr William Roulston, who is Research Director of the Ulster Historical Foundation. William holds a PhD in Archaeology from Queens University Belfast and degrees in history from Ulster University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He has written a number of books, including Fermanagh: History and Society (edited with Eileen Murphy, Dublin, 2004), Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors (Belfast, 2005), Restoration Strabane, 1660-1714 (Dublin, 2007), Three centuries of life in a Tyrone parish: a history of Donagheady from 1600 to 1900 (Strabane, 2010) and Abercorn: The Hamiltons of Barons Court (Belfast, 2014). He is a Member of Council for both the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland and the Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This course will be rolled out in other areas around the lough in the coming months as will courses called Know your place – a bit better , a six week get-together on gaining some tools to help read our landscape a bit better – to look for the clues and the features, history and heritage that tell the story of your home area. You’ll enjoy the craic and homemade food by a roaring fire, facilitated by Dr Liam Campbell, Lough Neagh Partnership.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you wish to register your interest, please email: Liam.Campbell@loughneaghlp.com

In the meantime – possibly having some time on your hands, you can get ahead by looking at some of these useful websites – have fun !

Genealogy, history and mapping websites

https://www.townlands.ie/

www.logainm.ie

www.indirect.gov.uk/services/search-proni-historical-maps-viewer

www.heritagemaps.ie

www.communitiesni.gov.uk/services/sites-and-monuments-record
Sites-and monuments-record, Historic Environment Division

www.ulsterplacenameni.org
Website showing locations and meanings and old spellings of townlands and place-names in NI

www.ancestryireland.com
Ulster Historical Foundation

www.ancestryireland.com/scotsinulster
Hearth money roles ( 1600s ) Protestant householders (1740) and Flaxgrowers Lost (1796)

www.rootsireland.ie
Irish Family History Foundation ( subscription)

www.census.nationalarchieves.ie
1901 and 1911 and pre 1901 census fragments for all of Ireland

www.geneolgy.nationalarchieves.ie
Wills, valuation records, census returns

https://geni.indirect.gov.uk
Births 1864-1918, marriages 1845-1943 and deaths 1864-1968

www.irishgeneology.ie
Church records for certain counties and civil records from 1864 for NI until 1921

www.askaboutireland.ie/Griffith-valuation
Griffith’s valuation1848-1864

http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/down-survey-maps.php
Mid 17th century maps of Ireland

www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/InformationServices/TheLibrary/SpecialCollections/DigitalResources

www.Ireland.Anglican.org/about/rcb-library
Church of Ireland Library

www.presbyterianhistoryireland.com
Presbyterian records

www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk
British Newspaper Archive

www.ucs.Louisiana.edu/bnl/
Belfast Newsletter Index 1737-1800

Home


Mellon Centre for Migration Studies

Lough Neagh Conference – Student Blog by Michael McCoy

Lough Neagh Conference – Student Blog by Michael McCoy

Student Blog by Michael McCoy

Hi everyone, Michael here. Today I had the honour of attending the Lough Neagh conference. This meeting focused on the future management of Lough Neagh and how councillors, MLAs and local residents and their businesses can work together. A presentation was given by Dr William Burke, Lough Neagh Partnership (LNP) manager who informed the audience of the current management in place along with what is needed for the future. A representative from each of the main political parties also spoke about their views on legal responsibilities and what the aims are for future policies regarding Lough Neagh.

John Blair, representing the Alliance party, was knowledgeable about many concerns regarding management and referred to his experience in working Inland Fisheries for NIEA. Blair understands that realistic ideas need to be in place to work inside the budget. Tourism was highlighted as it is deemed important to improve public awareness of the Lough. Blair acknowledged the biodiversity rich environment and the unique species that live in and around the Lough. Blair wants to develop government policies with great detail and ensure everything is planned out instead of rushing poorly thought out ideas.

Rosemary Barton spoke on behalf of the Ulster Unionist party (UUP). Barton understood the need for more support from the government and the need for structure. She acknowledges that there is conflict of interest between communities. Barton highlights the need for inter-departmental grouping and only by working together can this task be achieved. Barton praises the good work done by LNP so far.

Dolores Kelly represented the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). She focused on farming and fishing communities, highlighting the issues of flooding on agricultural farmland. Kelly also briefly mentioned Eutrophication and focused on the need for more creative ideas. She highlights the importance of community involvement and the need to be flexible and adaptable. Kelly concluded by pledging the SDLP support to having a proper structure for regulating policies on management for Lough Neagh.

Francie Molloy, who was representing Sinn Fein focused on the need for one department to make the important decisions for future management of Lough Neagh. He highlighted the need for navigation authority on the Lough that the general public and fisheries should follow. Malloy wants to develop tourism across the whole Lough and feels that Lough Neagh needs to reach its full potential. He wants more people fishing on the lough to help generate revenue.

Overall, every politician was emphasising the importance of Lough Neagh and the need for a more structured approach to managing the lough. I personally found the conference interesting and hope that the meeting today will hopefully improve not just the economic and social aspects of the Lough, but also the environmental side, which requires more focus from the government.

Lough Neagh The Way Forward – Student Blog

Lough Neagh The Way Forward – Student Blog

Student Blog by Aine Mallon

Introduction

Lough Neagh is the largest freshwater water lake which has many benefits, all of which bring environmental, social and economic purposes. On 10th March 2020, I got to sit in on a conference here at the Discovery Centre with a range of political parties to discuss the strategic approaches associated with ensuring Lough Neagh is the next government, managed plan. The history of drawing up a management plan for Lough Neagh have been labelled as ‘un-coordinated,’ but now there are new challenges to bring forward more important, organised solutions. A representative from each of the political parties spoke on behalf of their party to share their planning procedures which they have set in place for Lough Neagh.

John Blair MLA, Alliance Party

John Blair had first opened with telling the chairmen a little bit about his background and how he had a combination of involvement in relation to Lough Neagh and having worked with DAERA. He made it very clear that the Alliance party have laid out a three-fold approach to bring forward new changes. Firstly, the policy proposals need to be addressed as principles, this is so that everything would be laid out in detail and there would be no delays in working towards them. Secondly, that the six people who are representing their political parties meet again, and more often to further discuss processes and work that they are carrying out in relation to Lough Neagh. Finally, he wants an action plan drawn up. These are all to be developed in detail because this will then bring forward a collaborative joint up approach.

Rosemary Barton MLA, Ulster Unionist Party

Rosemary had a very clear understanding of the main issue and dilemma that Lough Neagh faces, government funding is what’s needed. There are main difficulties that arise from the issue of there being much difficulty in the management structures for Lough Neagh. There is no government plan set in action and that she raised awareness of Waterways Ireland to manage the Lough. The action plans her party has put forward is that there needs to be more government management and practical efforts to assist in practical involvement however, all political parties must be on board for this to work. Interdepartmental grouping to shape the policy is mandatory. Finally, there needs to be more focus on the security of the area to put a stop to the illegal activities here.

Dolores Kelly MLA, Social Democratic and Labour party

Dolores made it very clear that the issue of strategy for Lough Neagh has been missing. Changes need to be brought in place to bring new improvements to the Lough. What her party have suggested is that all the councils in the areas need to join up and work with each other. Much more can be done together as a bigger team, but this can’t be done without central government funding. Lough Neagh needs to be more advertised as a key tourist destination for the economic benefits of the area. There needs to be a new strategy of how things are done, there needs to be more flexibility and become more adaptable and to also fix the funding issue. As Ulster Unionist Party has already stated, social democratic and labour party also believe that Waterways Ireland need to be involved.

Francie Molloy MP, Sinn Fein

The main issue of Francie’s idea focused more around community ownership of the Lough. The no demands for ownership has led to no one having responsibility. The main approach for Sinn Fein is that there needs to be a lead department minister, and the funding issue which all the other parties have mentioned need to be addressed. Sinn Fein have laid out a list of plans to develop tourism in Lough Neagh for the future. Firstly, there must be an initial step protocol to deal with navigation (for the boats) as it can be very dangerous. All parties have spoken about the importance of waterways Ireland to take control, and for the promotion of Lough Neagh. They want to work towards a long-term sustainability plan of Lough Neagh this including the tourism growth deal. Tourism needs to be more promoted across the area.

Lough Neagh Litter Campaign

Lough Neagh Litter Campaign

Lough Neagh Partnership and the Rivers Trust are delighted to support the local community groups around the shores of Lough Neagh who want to change attitudes to litter.  Around Lough Neagh we can see the damage done to valuable wildlife habitats through our careless attitude to litter.  Plastic bottles, straws and single use coffee cups are blown from roads and lanes into streams and into Lough Neagh where we are contributing to killing of sea birds and sea animals.   Lough Neagh Partnership and the Rivers Trust are throwing our efforts behind the Live Here Love Here Campaign to do our bit.

Because we  Live Here beside the Lough

                           We Love Here and do not want our place looking like a skip!

Please join and like our Lough Neagh Litter Campaign on facebook

Next events coming up: –

Saturday 27 July        Derrytresk Community Centre      12noon

Saturday 3 Aug          Newmills at the MACE shop at 10:30am

Student Blog – Aine Cullen

Student Blog – Aine Cullen

Hi everyone! My name is Aine, I am 21 years old, and I am a new student on a 16-week placement with the Lough Neagh Landscape Partnership. I am currently studying Environmental Management at Queen’s University Belfast and have a fond interest in nature and wildlife conservation, so this placement opportunity was right up my street! I applied here with the hopes of expanding my knowledge and experience on fauna and flora, and with only three weeks in, I have learned so much already.

There are currently six new placement students, and we have travelled to different sites learning valuable new information and developing key skills in areas such as Plant Identification with Bob Davidson, Dragonfly and Damselfly training with Robert Thompson, Woodland and Habitat Training with Dermot Hughes, Bumblebee Identification with Geoff Newell and First Aid / Rescue Emergency Care Training.

 

We carried out our first survey with the RSPB at Portmore Lough assessing the Irish Damselfly population in the Montiaghs Moss area. The Irish Damselfly (Coenagrion lunulatum) is thought to be a vulnerable and declining species. However, it is still considered to be an under-recorded species with lesser known information about it, compared to similar species such as the Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella) and Variable Damselfly (Coenagrion pulchellum).

We also shadowed the previous students on their Bumblebee transects where they carry out bee surveys once a month to assess population numbers at Oxford Island, as we will be taking over this survey in the coming weeks. This is to identify the 6 different common bumblebee species including the Common Carder Bumblebee (Bombus pascuorum), the Buff Tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), the Garden Bumblebee (Bombus hortorum), the Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum), the White Tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum) and the Red Tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius)./p

 

Student Blog – Lin Jiali

I am Lin Jiali, studying Environmental management at Queens University Belfast. This year is my second year at Queens, so I need to undertake a placement in the light of the school regulation.  I have many reasons to choose to conduct my placement with Lough Neagh Partnership at Oxford Island. First of all, when I first came here for an interview, this place impresses me by its gorgeous natural view. Thus, I think doing my placement in this beautiful environment will be enjoyable. Secondly, based on the recruitment information from the Lough Neagh, they require the intern have acquired the basic knowledge with regard to the Environmental impact assessment and Geographical information service. I have studied both of them in my second semester in my second academic year at Queens. As a consequence, I am able to meet these two recruiting requirements. Apart from that, I can also reinforce my academic theory regarding EIA and GIS by applying them to the workplace. The last reason is that this placement can provide various training by expert trainers, such as plant ID training, dragonfly training and internship will have the opportunity to carried out the field survey frequently during the placement. That means I will learn lots of new knowledge and gain the practical field survey experience in the period of the placement.  So far, I have attended the three times of plant ID training, once of dragonfly training and bumble bee training, several times of grassland survey and one woodland training. All of these training not only have expanded my current knowledge but also taught me how to solve and prevent the issues that would meet in the field surveys. First aid training is the training provided by the Lough Neagh partnership that surprises me. It is a very considerate decision they made for the interns since working in the field have a higher possibility to get injured than staying in the office. Thus, the first aid training can teach the placement students how to react once they get an injury in the field.

 

As far as I know, I already learnt much new knowledge, which related to the biology and environment subject and obtained useful practical field survey skills in the past two weeks. I believe the following journey will still be exciting and meaningful.