Environmental Science & Sustainability Graduate
Hazel joined the BSc Environmental Science & Sustainability programme in 2013, having moved from Glasgow to Dumfries & Galloway. She is now an Environmental Protection Officer for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), and Flood Duty Officer for Dumfries – a role she opted to undertake following her time studying in the region.
“My duties include; to assess environmental performance against environmental legislation and advise permit holders on how they can protect the environment and human health from activities, respond to environmental events and undertake investigations, and drive continuous improvement of the environment. As a flood duty officer my main aim is to reduce the impact of flooding by notifying the public, emergency responders when flooding is likely so appropriate action can be taken.”
“I’ve always wanted to do something practical and field based, I enjoy being out in the elements and seeing new places. I wanted to harness this passion in a way that would help protect Scotlands environment and help people and communities to thrive within the resources of our planet. This campus was the perfect fit. There’s so much space to explore with beaches, forests and hills right on your doorstep which provide a lot of academic and recreational opportunities that aren’t as easily available to you in the city. When I first visited the campus everyone was so welcoming and I knew this was where I wanted to be”
Throughout her time at the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Hazel engaged in practical fieldwork and research opportunities, and developed a portfolio of knowledge and experience in the environmental sector.
“I got to take the learning from lectures, apply it in our field trips and then take it to the lab. You really do get to put theory into practice, it consolidates everything you learn in an engaging and interactive way. I’m now working in this sector, and the way students’ study and learn on this programme is the most realistic experience you could get to working in the field.”
Hazel made the most of the University of Glasgow’s links with local partners and organisations and completed two placements with the SRUC Dairy Research Centre in Dumfries. Following graduation, Hazel went on to complete a Masters degree with the University of Glasgow Dumfries Campus, before joining a two-year graduate scheme at SEPA.
“This programme set me up with such a strong foundation. I’ve never stopped learning; from fundamental communication skills to specific field tests, analysis and environmental monitoring techniques. The experiences and knowledge gained on this programme were invaluable both personally and professionally, and I continue to build on these everyday.”
Hazel has stayed in contact with the Dumfries Campus ever since her graduation in 2017, and has even been back to visit as a guest speaker in 2021 to host a session on Protecting Scotland’s Water Environment;
“Maintaining my relationship with the University and campus after all these years is so special. I always felt like I had someone in my corner, I was never afraid to reach out and ask for help. The support I received throughout my degree continued after graduation and I now welcome every opportunity to come back and visit such a beautiful place with inspiring people, staff and students alike."