Case study

Inspiring Caitlin to reduce the impact of waste

Caitlin Craven-McCoo has a passion for the environment and in particular recycling and reducing waste - she discovered this passion while studying BSc (Hons) Geography at the University. She has always been fascinated by how people affect the world and how the world around us changes. Hands-on experiences during her degree have given her the opportunities and insight to turn this into a career - and make a difference.

Stepping towards the future

The importance of looking after our environment is a pressing matter and studying Geography gave Caitlin the options to specialise in sustainability, waste management and recycling. She states “through guidance I have found an area I truly love and can make a difference in the world which I have always wanted to do. I have always wanted to help people and make a difference no matter how small, and my degree has now given me the best opportunity to do this. A geography degree opens up many job opportunities as environmental guidance is important, and with the topics covered on this course my confidence in my employability has grown.”

A collection of recycled cardboard on wooden pallets

Invaluable fieldwork

BSc (Hons) Geography provides a range of fieldwork, ensuring students develop the practical skills that employers look for. Caitlin had the opportunity to visit a range of places including the Peak District to explore land movements, Nestle to find out about sustainable production, and Skegness to investigate sand dune migration, and soil changes through the years and human impact on the built environment.  She also had the chance to go further afield, visiting Crete to examine the impact floods have on channel movements in gorges and how tourism has changed the area, and Morocco, where she looked at both physical changes and human impact on Argan tree development. Caitlin says:

“The skills developed on these trips have been invaluable as I learn practically, so by just being in the classroom I would never have understood real world applications of such measurements of data collection. I’ve been able to understand when to use certain measurements, or what type of data to collect for successful interpretation previously discussed in class. This has been something I never thought I would know to the level I do.”

Driven by passion

Caitlin has thoroughly enjoyed studying Geography at the University of Derby as “the modules are so interesting and the lecturers are highly supportive in anything you choose to do. They are also inspiring due to their passion for their areas, and are also in the field researching so you gain relevant knowledge. My overall experience has been much more exciting than I could have imagined and has developed both my individual confidence and my skillsets massively. The trips were not something I looked for in the course when I applied but if I went to university and did this again I would look at the lecturers and the trips to see if they would add value like the ones I have been on. Having lecturers who have carried out research in these areas or countries adds a touch to the trips that I would never have got elsewhere.”