Ever since she was a child, Carolien was fascinated by trees, forests and wildlife. No wonder she chose the master’s Forest and Nature Conservation. She enjoyed the combination of nature and ecological systems and the societal perspective. After graduating she managed to get a job as an ecology consultant at Tauw.
Could you describe your work as consultant?
“I work on various ecological issues in the fields of management, law, and vision development. For example, I worked on an ecological structure plan for a municipality. In this plan, guidance was given on how nature within that municipality could be managed best. Nature that reflects the identity of the municipality and that can be included in spatial planning. I made various choices and I involved the residents. In this way nature can be an asset rather than a burden.”
What do you need to consider as a consultant in such projects?
“These projects are quite complex. The consultant is a link between aspirations and policies and on the other hand the management implementation. You continuously are concerned with the product (what do you make?) and the process (how do you do that?). This requires not only ecological knowledge but you also have to come up with new ideas and to listen to and communicate with the client.”
Are you always working from behind a desk or do you also work in the field?
“I also regularly do assays for the Flora and Fauna Act. Spatial development sites, where for example an old commercial building will be demolished, need to be examined. They need to be checked on species which are protected by the Flora and Fauna Act. For example abodes or bats or nesting birds. I also do fieldwork, for example bat research or tree inventories. Here my GIS knowledge gained during my studies is useful, because it is very convenient to be able to process your own field data into GIS maps.”
Do you enjoy your job?
“I already work for more than three years at Tauw. Although sometimes I 'd rather spend my time in nature itself instead of working on it in the office, I enjoy my work. This is mainly due to the nice colleagues and the variety in projects. The creative approach and practical implementation by occasionally doing field work.”
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