Growing up in Australia, Nicky Warton loved exploring the environment and getting to know its unique flora and fauna. She was captivated by how the world worked through science and geography. While she wasn’t always sure what kind of job she wanted after university, she knew studying in a field that she loved would help her get a job in an area she was passionate about.
Enjoying a very practical hands-on education as part of her Bachelor of Environmental Science, Nicky uses the skills she developed daily. She’s been able to apply her skills and knowledge to improving the practices and processes in her current role as an Environmental Scientist at Douglas Partners.
We spoke to Nicky about her current role as an Environmental Scientist and how her science degree helped get her there.
I love working as an Environmental Scientist. I’m able to positively impact the environment and world around me and, at the same time, continue to learn about the environment.
I’m passionate about the Australian environment and I have the desire to manage our resources sustainably so that future generations can enjoy them for years to come. It’s a joy to be able to spend my days working towards this goal.
I chose to study at UNSW because of the environmental science degree offered. It gave me the option to major in physical geography and study a broad range of subject areas on both a local and global scale.
Growing up, I loved exploring the Australian environment and its unique flora and fauna. I also loved learning about the environment and discovering how the world worked. I was unsure of what kind of job I wanted when I graduated, so I thought a degree in environmental science would allow me to study something I loved and help me get a job in a field I was passionate about.
During my degree, I gained a range of practical skills through tutorials, laboratory classes and field trips. I gained hands-on experience in geology, soil identification and testing, water testing, surveying and mapping skills. I learned to effectively use the latest technologies and a range of software programs used in the industry.
I’ve drawn on and continue to develop these skills in my current role as an environmental consultant. The practical skills I gained during my degree prepared me well for my current role. They’ve also allowed me to contribute to improving the practices and efficiencies of the processes in my company.
My degree and experience at UNSW not only provided the theoretical knowledge and practical skills I needed as an environmental scientist, but it has opened my eyes to the vast number of career possibilities out there.
During my degree, I explored the world of research and seriously considered a career in it. While I didn’t follow that path, the research opportunities developed the critical thinking and analytical communication skills I use every day.
Being exposed to a wide range of fields within environmental science, I discovered areas I was particularly passionate about, including environmental education. Educating and communicating with people about environmental issues is something I’ll continue to pursue throughout my career.
It wasn’t until I started studying environmental science that I realised how broad the field is and the endless possibilities within the single degree. I studied subjects I thought I’d love but didn’t end up enjoying and subjects I thought I’d dislike and ended up loving.
Science degrees are flexible, so don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do. Keep an open mind, explore all the options and you might just surprise yourself!