Date: 26 July 2019
DOC Taranaki trainee rangers Erin Drummond and Matt Sturgess love coming in to work every day.
“You have an adventure almost every day you are at work. There is always something new to learn and see,” says Erin.
As trainees, the young couple gets to work in a variety of jobs protecting and enhancing the local environment.
“Each week is totally different, it could be working with the Taranaki Mounga team to eradicate possums on the Kaitake Range, monitoring whio on mountain streams, carrying out Māui dolphin surveys, collecting seeds, or planting trees with community groups. It’s always interesting work” says Matt.
Working with passionate, knowledgeable and like-minded people make the work rewarding and interesting. “We are learning so much from our colleagues.”
Erin and Matt came to DOC from the Trainee Ranger programme offered by the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. There they learnt the basics in conservation work, including a range of skills from plant identification through to animal and plant pest control and tikanga Māori.
After graduating, a number of two-year DOC placements are available to gain further in-field experience, before rangers look for permanent work. The couple was able to get placements in Matt’s hometown of New Plymouth.
While usually working separately their schedules occasionally cross over. “It’s a cool thing to be able to share and to understand the work we each do and what we get to experience. Coming home we understand the day each other has had and it’s helpful to learn from each other”.
Knowing that their work helps ensure future generations will be able to enjoy nature in our public conservation areas and appreciate our unique plants and animals is pretty special.
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