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DkIT Students Explore Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern

19 March 2024

DkIT second year Level 8 Science students who are currently taking a module called ‘Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern’, went on a field trip to Dublin Zoo for education and fun, but also as part of an assessment.

At Dublin Zoo, the group were fortunate to meet Victoria Eigler, the on-site conservation and biodiversity educator who spoke to the students about the threats that animals are facing in the wild which include habitat loss, deforestation, wetland removal, noise, light, air and chemical pollution, climate change, overexploitation, and invasive species. Victoria proceeded to tell the group all about the species that are endangered and vulnerable to extinction both in the wild and in the zoo, and she went into detail on the different conservation measures put in place in the zoo to protect these species. Dublin Zoo support over 25 conservation projects in Ireland and worldwide and they participate in over 35 breeding programmes as part of their membership with EAZE (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria). For example, there are five female Asian elephants in the Zoo which are classified by the IUCN (International Conservation of Nature) Red List as an Endangered Species. In the last 70 years, this species has declined by 50% in the wild, and in 2022, Dublin Zoo began a partnership with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to help conserve and protect Asian elephants in their natural habitat. This was just some of the information covered on the Education and Learning module that the students participated in.

The students who attended this visit to Dublin Zoo are currently on the General Science Course in DkIT and the module that facilitated this visit is essentially an introductory module to Environmental Science. After year 2 of General Science students have the option of specialising in Environmental Bioscience or Biopharmaceutical Science. Environmental Bioscience investigates the natural world and how things work, and this course addresses the ongoing problems relating to environmental and climatic degradation.

The Environmental Bioscience Programme at DkIT contains a high level of hands-on experience at every level and includes modules such as Environmental Biotechnology (Wildlife and Habitat), Conservation Genetics, Microbial Ecology, Environmental Monitoring and Geographic Information Science.

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