Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Dominika Murienova MEnvSci Environmental Sciences

3rd Year student

Dominika Murienova's Photo

Friendly lecturers who deliver good quality education. The course also offers many opportunities for shaping the focus of your education within environmental science.

Brief summary of your time at Southampton?

I came into the University of Southampton doing the Science Foundation year, and then I moved on to study Environmental Science degree. Protecting nature is my passion. I have joined several societies which I am actively contributing to such as SU Yoga society. I have found some pretty amazing people here at university.

You have recently won an award for your conservation research, can you please tell us a little a bit about it?

I was on a summer Excel placement via the University with Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust conducting a research on invasive plants in the National Park New Forest. I did this placement along side another student, also from the university. We won an award because we worked independently and effectively during our placement.

What have you enjoyed most about your course?

Fieldtrips and field-courses, where we gain our hands-on and practical skills. You also get to develop and conduct your own project in third year.

Would you recommend your course to other students?

Definitely, very friendly lecturers who deliver good quality education. The course also offers many opportunities for shaping the focus of your education within Environmental Science; you can take biology, demography or geology modules that relate to our studies.

Have you undertaken a project as part of your course? What was your favourite part?

The project was one of the Excel Placements provided by the University in collaboration with external employers. My favourite part of the placement was surveying, being outdoors and seeing different environments where the plants grew, however I also value writing up the report as I have definitely gained the skills by doing this.

What are your lecturers and tutors like? Have you found them supportive?

All my lecturers are very friendly and willing to give advice or help when asked for. I keep in touch with my tutor regularly.

How are you finding your placement and what are you doing?

The placement I did over the summer months involved surveying 10 different privately owned sites in the New Forest. We needed to get permission to access the land and we have met lot of the landowners and all were very nice and happy to inform us about the invasive plants on their land. We did quadrat surveys of invasive plants and any other plants present there, which was our main task. We wrote a large part of the report during the summer and within the first month of the academic year we completed the report.

How have your studies on your course prepared you for your placement?

Surveying techniques that we were taught straight in first year on first practical – quadrat sampling, was the main surveying method we were using on our placement. In my second year I studied Environmental Pollution module that prepared me for the placement – the whole part of course was about biological pollution and invasive species. Beside everything, report writing has been very useful.

What have you learnt and how have you benefitted from the experience so far?

I have improved on my report writing, and me and my colleague did very well on our placement, that our supervisor nominated us for amateur naturalist award which we won! Having this award has definitely improved my self-confidence, and my CV! During the placement we have assured ourselves about the sampling techniques we used and now we definitely do not have problems with quadrat surveys or identification of invasive plants. We also created maps of each site we surveyed and preparing these has taught me to some GIS skills about handling data.

Why did you choose to do your summer placement at this company?

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is one of the biggest organisations for nature protection and this is clearly a large benefit for me to have an experience with them.

What are your career plans after you’ve completed your course?

I am currently thinking about studying a PhD in botanical conservation. If this will not happen I will be happy to work for an NGO that deals with protecting wildlife, mainly plants.

How do you think your course will help you in your future career?

My course will directly help me for my career. I see implications from what we learn on lectures into practice. In my case this especially applies to what I have learnt on ecology modules and I see implications of it when I am reading research papers, or when I go out to volunteer with SU Conservation Volunteers the theory translates to practice.

Other Environmental Science modules are very practical too, for example GIS modules that I take have prepared me for other work experience that I undertook previously without the modules I wouldn’t be able to complete the tasks I was given. I am benefiting already from what I have learned on my course, even before finishing it and I believe it will continue.

If you could give prospective students one piece of advice, what would it be?

Apply yourself. Engage yourself.

Share this profile Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings