Julie always had a strong interest in animals, and originally thought she would like to be a vet. Until she started a B.Sc., she didn't realise how many other careers there were involving animals. Julie chose a variety of subjects in Zoology, Geography, Environmental Science and Botany to gain a well-rounded knowledge of the environment.
"By the time I finished my degree, I knew that I wanted to focus more on the land and ecosystems as a whole, rather than just work with animals. I had decided I would like to work with farmers to improve our natural resources; such a large percentage of Australian land is used for agriculture."
Julie is now employed as an Extension Officer - Specialised Rural Industries, by the Dept. of Natural Resources and Environment. Julie liases with farmers, industry and research scientists to assist in applying new science where it is needed. She is currently investigating markets for dairy goat milk and healthy oils, analysing the economic viability of new industries, writing a website and journal articles, and attending conferences on a range of agricultural and environmental topics. Zoology gave Julie an invaluable understanding of scientific processes.
"It's important for me to be able to critically analyse experimental design so I don't spread the wrong news to farmers."
Julie is confident in all aspects of being a scientist, library skills, data analysis, report writing, public speaking and computer skills are benefits of a zoological education.
"In the longer term, I hope to become involved in a systems approach to agriculture, where all aspects of natural resources, ecosystem function and farm productivity are managed together, in an holistic manner"