Following the departure of former Environment Platform Wales (EP Wales) Director Dr. Jenny Geroni (who has now joined the team at National Museum Wales), EP Wales has welcomed a new Director on board. Andy Schofield will lead the platform following a career building up his strategic management expertise in a range of environmental roles.
Andy has spent his career working in Wales across fisheries, conservation, land management and water quality. Prior to moving into the academic environment, he spent three years working on the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project, developing impact assessment models and mitigation methodologies associated with fish populations. The past two years he has managed the GW4 Water Security Alliance facilitating collaboration between stakeholders and water researchers from across Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter universities.
In his new role as platform Director, Andy is hoping to share knowledge gained throughout his career to ensure Welsh researchers are able to access funding to deliver relevant research that contributes to the protection of our incredible Welsh environment. The delivery of work by the Platform team will also recognise the additional pressures on researchers and missed opportunities for students caused by the pandemic.
“While we have missed face to face meetings, a switch to on-line talks, workshops and conferences has resulted in reduced emissions and saved significant time and costs associated with travel. The team will further adapt delivery of events to meet the needs of researchers, students and stakeholders with a hybrid approach where possible giving attendees the option to attend in person or on-line.
“I believe that the provision of symbiotic opportunities for students (and researchers) to experience work in non-academic settings is critically important, enabling both partners to better understand each other’s challenges as well as supporting individual skill development and enhanced career prospects.
“Wales can play a leading role in addressing the climate crisis and its impacts and despite the fact that we do face many environmental challenges caused by society’s past and current behaviour, we should not forget to celebrate and enjoy the many positive aspects of our wonderful Welsh communities and environment…”
When not working, Andy loves to spend time running and walking in the area around Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan, seeking out our more elusive wildlife which – Andy says – is easier said than done when you are being towed by a ‘hyperactive Labrador‘.
“I’ve spent nearly 30 years playing and coaching for Bridgend Hockey Club and was looking forward to representing Wales in the 2020 Masters World Cup in South Africa until postponed due to Covid – my aim is to try and keep my legs moving for another year and try again!”