EXCEPTIONAL EXQUISITE MOMENTS BY: ROCHELLE MPHETLHE
I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Botswana in 2019 under Bachelor of Arts (Social Sciences) majoring in Environmental Science. My time at the university was spent under a number of volunteering programs, in both social welfare services and professional services in administrative work. At this time I acquired various leadership skills which now enable me to work gracefully in teams both as a team leader and member.
While doing my third year, I worked as a part time research assistant where I improved my research skills including data collection, data entry and analysis and the use of different data analysis tools including Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).
My love for wildlife began at a young adolescent age, I never had passion for any professional white collar career. I loved art and painting outdoor scenes, which eventually ignited my love for the outdoor space, nature and wildlife and since then my academic life was focused on any course/ subject/ program that would lead me outside the classroom. Sadly I only got to discover the conservation field at a later stage in life, but early enough for me to start a career in that field. And so upon completion of my bachelor’s degree I applied for a master’s degree under a local organisation, “Raptors Botswana” and was fortunate to be chosen for the position.
My project now focuses on quantifying raptor populations in southern Botswana, due to rapid population declines in various raptor species worldwide especially vultures. The mere fact that Botswana holds five(5) species of vultures classified as either ‘vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered” means that as locals we have to take initiative and leading roles in protecting and advocating for conservation of the vulture species in our country. Thus the need for community engagement, activities that helps teach local people about wildlife and the importance of protecting the animals in our environment for future generations. Which as my career grows, I hope I can archive.