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Life as a Graduate Ornithologist

Conor discusses his role as a Graduate Ornithologist. Conor graduated with a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Galway and joined MKO in 2021.

Can you describe your role as a Graduate Ornithologist?

My work mainly involves completing bird surveys on proposed wind farm development sites. I complete a variety of different surveys, each targeting different target species. Each month I receive a schedule for the following month detailing what surveys need to be completed in what areas; from that I can organise myself to conduct these surveys in whatever way suits myself and any other surveyors working on that site across the month. I’m also working on the Gort flood relief programme to gauge its possible effects on waterbirds in the area; a team of ornithologists covers this large survey area. Another key responsibility of mine is managing my collected data and ensuring it is suitable for uploading, this involves creating and maintaining QGIS maps of bird movements on and around the site, and compiling excel worksheets detailing findings of target and non-target species around the site. Using this collected data, I then help put together interim reports which inform the client of the site’s findings.

How did you find the recruitment process for your role at MKO?

I heard of MKO through my university, the recruitment process was very easy to follow. Everyone in MKO was very welcoming, helpful, and patient with me during my first weeks at the company.

How would you describe the culture at MKO?

The culture in MKO is like nowhere I’ve worked before, and there is an incredibly inviting and friendly atmosphere around the office. The company is very progressive and bases its planning and development advice on data collected.

What do you enjoy most about your role at MKO?

My role as an ornithologist requires plenty of fieldwork. I love spending time in nature and my job at MKO allows plenty of outdoor work in stunning landscapes.

What advice would you give potential applicants to the graduate programme?

Just do it! There are a variety of roles in the company to suit people from all walks of life, friendly colleagues, and a great working environment.

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