FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Our experienced teaching staff

Maryanne

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Biology with maths, PTLLS, First Aid at Work

After leaving university I took a year out, using the time to explore a bit of the world and consider what I wanted to do as a career. I realised it was a love of the outdoors that I wanted to form the basis of my work, and so started working in field studies and outdoor adventure activities. After a stint leading Biology and Geography experiences at another Field Centre I moved to Devon and started working at Slapton in 2008; I was originally employed as a Geography tutor but have been teaching Geography, Biology and all that goes between since 2009 in this beautiful Westcountry landscape.

“I enjoy meeting loads of different people and going out and about. I love that every day is different and being able to see the landscapes change over time“

Andrew

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Geography, First Aid at Work

After studying physical geography at the University of Southampton, I spent time volunteering with the education departments of two Wildlife Trusts and leading adult conservation groups as a Volunteer Officer with The Conservation Volunteers. I was fortunate enough at this time to gain memorable experiences teaching in a range of environments; from festivals to urban nature reserves. I joined the FSC as part of the Trainee Tutor scheme in 2013. After becoming a Tutor at Slapton in 2014, I have had the chance to develop and hone my teaching skills and gain local knowledge of the South West.

“South Devon is a great place to learn about the environment and the people that interact with it -from its stunning coastline to the Tors and valleys, there are many places to draw inspiration from.”

Chloe

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Biological Sciences, MSc Biodiversity and Conservation, First Aid at Work

Having studied Biological Sciences at Oxford, I pursued my interest in ecology by completing a Masters in Biodiversity and Conservation at Leeds. The next couple of years saw me spend a lot of time in Africa, working as Project Coordinator of a conservation research programme in Tanzania and leading expeditions to Namibia for sixth-form students. It was during this time that I realised my passion for teaching and working with young people, and this led me to join the FSC’s Trainee Tutor scheme. Having initially worked at Juniper Hall, I have now returned home to South Devon, the area I grew up in.

“I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to work in such a stunning and inspiring location, sharing my passion for the natural world with so many young people. I hope they are inspired too! “

Hannah

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Environmental Science, First Aid at Work

After being inspired by many brilliant field trips at both school and university, I joined the FSC in 2012 and have been working at Slapton ever since. I take great pleasure and pride in teaching geography, biology and everything in between as well as having fun teaching a variety of primary groups. The stunning surroundings of South Devon with its moors, beaches, cliff tops makes this a wonderful place to teach and learn.

“I have always loved the natural world we are surrounded by and I enjoying being able to share it with all those who visit Slapton.”

Rosie

Qualifications: BSc Geography and Mathematics with a Year in Industry, British Sign Language level 1, First Aid at Work

Whilst studying my degree at the University of Leeds, I began learning British Sign Language. This really helped me appreciate how difficult communication can be. During the 3rd year of my degree I completed a year placement with the Field Studies Council and in some ways I haven’t left since. Working for an environmental education charity seemed to me to be the ideal way of being able to be outdoors whilst inspiring others about the environment whether through curriculum based studies or community events. Since finishing my degree I have worked in a variety of roles for the FSC from Scotland to Devon. Having returned to FSC Slapton, after a short spell at other Centres I now work to inspire students and teachers to consider the environment as an integral part of Geography and Ecology studies.

“Nothing can beat walking to work knowing that today’s “classroom” is the Coast, Woods, River or Slapton Ley!”

Emily

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Geography, PGCE, First Aid at Work

I studied Geography at the University of Sunderland and gained my PGCE at Newcastle University. I am passionate about geography and the environment, and have spent time living, working and travelling abroad, including places like China, Thailand, and Malaysia. Before joining the FSC I spent over 6 six years as a Geography teacher, where I also ran the schools Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and spent time leading a local explorer scout’s unit.

“I love working at Slapton, with such diverse biological and geographical sites and seeing the students awe and wonder when experiencing them for the first time.”

Gareth

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Geography, PGCE, First Aid at Work

After studying Geography at the University Liverpool I went on to complete my Teacher Training. I then spent 9 years teaching Geography in the Midlands. I love travelling and seeing amazing places abroad and closer to home. I love the Great British Countryside and teaching young people. I joined the FSC in January 2017 and love getting young people out of the classroom bringing the subjects to life.

"I love it in South Devon, we have some amazing places with incredible biodiversity. Every day is like a holiday when you live and work here"

Helen

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Geography and Archaeology, First Aid at Work

Having enjoyed my field trips at school and the University of Chester I wanted to give others fieldwork experience and an interest in the natural world. I started working for the FSC in 2014 and have worked at a variety of Centres and environments since then; moving from the moorlands in Yorkshire to the woodlands of Surrey to the coast in Devon. The dynamic landscapes surrounding Slapton make it the ideal place for outdoor education.

“I am so lucky to have these coastal surroundings as my office and to have the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for geography and ecology with the young people that visit."

Tomás

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Zoology with Animal Behavior and International Experience, First Aid at Work, Powerboat level 2, PADI open water diver certification

I've always lived in incredible natural environments next to the sea. These environments have shaped my childhood and inspired my career in teaching. After studying and working for 6 years in West Wales, volunteering for forest schools and conservation charities abroad and in the UK, it's been a pleasure to return to the South West, where i grew up, to share my experiences and knowledge with people from all walks of life who visit the FSC.

"Even when I'm trying to explain difficult concepts in the howling wind and driving rain, I still think, I'd much rather be here than the office!"

Simon

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Geography, PGCE, First aid at work

If I had a moment to spare I would be outside, whether it’s sea kayaking the stunning Devon coastline, climbing on some exposed sea cliffs, cycling the hilly roads of Dartmoor or simply running around our beautiful nature reserve. My passion for the outdoors has inspired me to learn about the processes which shape and form the dynamic landscape around us. After my PGCE I decided that I wanted to combine my passion for working with young people and the love of the outdoors, this is why I’m a tutor with the Field Studies Council.

“I really do love my job in the outdoor classroom here at Slapton and the surrounding countryside, it is a great privilege to take young people outside and witness them enjoying such beautiful surroundings and deepen their friendships with one and another outside of school.”

Alex

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Geography, PGCE, QTS, First Aid at Work

After gaining my degree and then my PGCE, I taught Geography at secondary schools in suburban London for seven years before making the switch to South Devon to work with the FSC. I now lead the Education Team here at Slapton Ley and feel incredibly lucky to come to work each day to work with a fantastic and dedicated group of tutors (and in such a beautiful landscape to boot). Although I studied Human Geography at university, I was quickly converted into a physical geographer by the amazing landscapes around South Devon, such as the changing coastline along Start Bay.

"Most days I have a moment (if not, several) where I really think…’wow…is this really my job?’ Whether it’s walking around the Ley, wandering the narrow streets of Slapton or looking across the vast bay from Start Point, I love the fact I get to share this fantastic and varied landscape with groups and engage students with it – it’s an very rewarding experience"

Jon

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Biology, First Aid at Work

Since leaving university last century with a Biology degree, I have worked in outdoor education for the last 20 years, the last 15 of those with the FSC, and am now the assistant head here at Slapton and lead the education team. I have always enjoyed learning about the places that I live and work in, discovering the secrets of the landscape, the history of its inhabitants and the wildlife that lives there. I have been lucky to be able to do this in locations across the UK, including the Isle of Arran, Dorset, Yorkshire Dales and now South Devon, and been able to share this knowledge with a huge range of groups over the years.

“I consider myself lucky to be working in an environment like Slapton Ley and to be able help a wide variety of groups engage with and learn about the importance of the landscapes around them.”