Darwin and his birthplace inspire new generations
Field Studies Council (FSC) Centre Preston Montford in Shropshire, birthplace of Charles Darwin, is hosting two groups of budding young scientists this month. The groups are taking part in special scholarship courses inspired by the naturalist.
19 young graduates and environmental workers from around the world are currently experiencing the Darwin Scholarship Programme. The stimulating ten-day course offers comprehensive biodiversity training to ‘up and coming’ scientists enabling them to build their own knowledge, and also help to address the global shortage of skills in this area.
The aim of the Darwin Scholarship is to develop “better naturalists” in the spirit of Darwin’s love of nature and observing the natural world. Activities, excursions, lectures and workshops will focus on observation and identification, recording skills and ways of communicating biodiversity. Participants have travelled from across the world to take advantage of this unique opportunity, with scholars from China, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Turkey, Thailand, Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, India and Nepal, as well as the UK, all arriving safely in Shropshire earlier this week to begin their fantastic programme of events.
Course Director Richard Dawson said:“2012 is the fifth year of the Darwin Scholarship. The feedback received from all our past scholars has been tremendously positive and this year it will again provide a wonderful chance for participants to work with leading UK scientists and educators. The scholarship has been developed as part of FSC’s ongoing programme of international work, all working towards our aim of bringing environmental understanding to all.”
Darwin Scholars in action this week
Young Darwins presented with a certificate at the end of their course
Their course coincided with the brand new Young Darwin Scholarship, which has also been running this week. This involved a group of 16 and 17 year olds from the UK, who spent five days exploring parts of Darwin’s Shropshire including Shrewsbury, the Stiperstones and journeying by canoe along part of the River Severn. Throughout their course they observed habitats, geology and landforms, identified plants and animals and developed their skills and knowledge to understand more about the natural world.
Charitable Development Officer at FSC Cathy Preston explains: “The Young Darwin Scholarship is an exciting new initiative which has been developed by the FSC to encourage and support young people to explore, understand and be further inspired by the natural world - to develop the next generation of ‘Darwins’. The 16 and 17 year olds applied for the Scholarships by demonstrating their interest and knowledge of the natural environment and how they think they will benefit from the experience.”
Both programmes have been created by FSC, a national environmental education charity with a network of Centres across the UK.
Young Darwin Scholarship
Friday, August 24, 2012