Gaining first-hand experience in environmental monitoring and research

For many years the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology has offered a one year vacancy for an undergraduate student based with the Environmental Change Network (ECN) team in Lancaster, a unique experience.

Please note: Regrettably we are not currently able to offer a student placement

The student was trained in and undertook environmental monitoring at Moor House – Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve, including associated laboratory and computer work.  The student was expected to undertake a short project of interest to themselves and relevant to ECN.

"I don’t have any regrets about taking a year out to work for ECN as the experiences and knowledge I have gained by working here are invaluable"
- Amy Goodwin, 2010-11  |  Read Amy's experience

The UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) is part of the the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC), which brings together environmental researchers of international reputation from UKCEH and Lancaster University to form one of the largest groups of its kind in Europe.  LEC is based on the campus of Lancaster University.  This lively campus is 3 miles from the centre the City of Lancaster and convenient for the Lancashire Coast, the Lake District National Park and Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The Environmental Change Network (ECN) is the UK's long-term environmental monitoring programme.  It is designed to collect, store, analyse and interpret long-term data based on a set of key physical, chemical and biological variables which drive and respond to environmental change at a range of terrestrial and freshwater sites across the UK.

Moor House – Upper Teesdale is an upland National Nature Reserve in the northern Pennines, which has been an ECN terrestrial monitoring site since 1992.  Since 1997 ECN freshwater monitoring has also been undertaken in the Trout Beck which lies within the site.  ECN data from the site is used in a wide variety of research projects.

We have trained our placement students in the techniques for monitoring a range of organisms including rabbits, spittle bugs, ground beetles, birds, bats, frogs, butterflies and stream invertebrates.  Experience was obtained in measuring a range of physical variables including automatic and manual meteorology and atmospheric pollutants.  Fieldwork was undertaken throughout the year and training was given in hill-walking skills.  The students' computing and data handling skills were also developed.  The students were expected to undertake a short project of interest to themselves and relevant to ECN and it has also been possible for them to undertake work experience with other UKCEH research groups at Lancaster.

More in this section

What does the work involve? As told by former student Jo Robinson
The Moor House Student Hall of Fame
More past students describe their experience:
   Lucia Lencioni
   Amy Goodwin