Sarah West – community scientist

Sarah West
OPAL
 community and research scientist, University of York

Sarah works throughout the Yorkshire and Humber region, organising nature events, running OPAL surveys, and enthusing the public about their local environment. She balances this with conducting her own research into environmental education.

What is your research about?

My research is about environmental education and trying to find out if there are ways to improve how we teach and engage the public.

I'm working with the public and environmental educators across Yorkshire to understand how we evaluate environmental projects and how successful they are. I do this through numerous focus groups and interviews.

What's your typical day like?

It's hard to describe a typical day. I could be doing a bit of field work, student supervision, giving lectures, or researching on my computer.

What's the best part of what you do?

The variety. Yesterday I was in a rock pool in Scarborough, and this morning I'm planning the media launch of our surveys.

What's the most satisyfing?

A large number of people have very little knowledge about our environment. The work we are doing is opening their eyes to a whole new world.

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