More field promotion

April 23, 2015

In the midst of rapid environmental change and dwindling habitats, there is an increasing need for identifying wild species in the field, and these skills are under-represented in modern biology curricula (“Endangered species”, Opinion, 26 February). We need an innovative approach that recognises the wide public interest in nature and transforms it constructively.

As an international leader in taxonomy, the Natural History Museum is well placed to support people in developing identification skills. For example, the Identification Trainers for the Future programme is a 12-month work-based traineeship that also enables its students to pass on their skills and to enthuse others. The programme is run in partnership with the Field Studies Council and the National Biodiversity Network Trust and is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

There has been a significant rise in public membership of nature organisations in the past 30 years. People value learning about and spending time in nature, even if they’re not seeing it from a biological perspective. The public appetite for field identification skills is there; we need to work together to harness it.

Steph West, project manager of the Identification Trainers for the Future programme, Natural History Museum, London

John Tweddle, head of the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity, Natural History Museum, London

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy