Student Profile

Darlene Turner - Applied Science

Darlene Turner - Applied Science

“Shifting my focus from studying animals, to studying and improving the environment they live in, is one of the best choices I’ve made.” Darlene’s first passion was animals and she planned to study zoology at Massey University until she had a chat with one of the tutors at NorthTec. “He had studied zoology at uni but recommended this degree instead because it offered more field experience and more involvement. He was also incredibly enthusiastic and had a real passion for what he teaches.”

“Staying closer to home also means I can study in Whangarei during the week and go home to my part-time job and connect with family in the weekends. It’s a bit of a balance because I have five younger siblings and my Mum is also studying her degree, so we support each other to make sure we have enough quiet time away from the younger children to study, and take turns managing the household. But I’m happy with my grades and I’m realising I’m more capable than I thought.”

“The course has opened my eyes to a whole new world and has given me new knowledge. I now realise how inter-connected everything is and how a healthy environment supports healthy species.”

Darlene is already applying what she is learning to where she is from. “For my third year project, I’m monitoring with Project Island Song which is a partnership between the Guardians of the Bay of Islands, Te Rawhiti hāpu and DOC. During this process I will be able to build relationships and connections with people in this field. Once the monitoring is done, I will be writing a report on our results which will be beneficial to Project Island Song.”

“The tutors here have strong professional links which open doors to work experience and this can often progress into paid employment. When I finish my degree I’ll take a short break from study to recap and absorb what I’ve learnt as I’ve come straight from graduating high school. I also want to do some volunteering work to get experience in all areas relevant to this field. ”

“I want to acknowledge my tutors and academic advisers for their input and feedback on my writing, and thank my family for their massive support to make my study possible. My long term dream is to make a difference back home with my hapū, iwi and family so that they’re equipped to know the greater context of the environment that we live in. Already my sister is inspired to pursue this degree as well.”


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