Student Profile

Steve Johnson - Conservation and Environmental Management

Steve Johnson - Conservation and Environmental Management

“I’ve always hunted and been keen on fishing and diving but my work life has been in the building/construction industry. When the last venture I was with finished, I decided it was time to study what I was passionate about. I had walked and swum through our natural environment but I wanted to learn some of the science and biology behind how it was all linked together so I stepped out of my comfort zone and signed up for study here for a year. I became so enthusiastic that I’ve continued to level 6.”

“The best thing about the course is the dedication and passion of the tutors and how they deliver their knowledge. It’s also really cool meeting new people with new opinions and new input. I’m naturally reserved so the course has taken me out of my bubble and helped me develop new skills including giving presentations. The challenge for me is the computer and technology but the support is there from both the tutors and younger students, and I can help them with some of my bush experience.”

“By monitoring and interpreting data, we’ve learned that everything we do in an eco-system has consequences, including which plants we introduce. I’m hoping that the course will give me enough confidence to go out in a group and initiate, apply and pass on what we’ve learned. We’re learning a massive amount so it takes a bit to condense it and choose which path to follow after study. I’m keen to get work when we finish and already a few options with local projects are presenting themselves.”

Steve’s long term goal is to work amongst the extensive natural environment around Ruakākā and help enhance it. “Stepping out of my comfort zone to come back to school has been great for me. In my backpack with my ordinary kit of my tools, lunch and safety gear, I also carry my goals and aspirations. That way I keep them close to me so I can keep reviewing them, renewing them and re-filling them.”

“I’ve learned that if you want to do something, do it. Even if you don’t succeed at first, just adjust and self-correct. What you do after you come through those little knocks, makes you a stronger person.”