Hi there. I’m Sara Blackburn – a dedicated and passionate conservationist who focusses on applicable research, public collaboration and new technologies to promote the coexistence of people and wildlife. Hard working, multi-skilled and practical, I love explore multi-disciplinary methods to reach challenging conservation goals. As a creative individual with transferable skills, I can communicate science to a variety of audiences in different and engaging ways and I have great experience of public engagement.
Born in Preston, I studied in London and Glasgow and spent several years in the Masai Mara, Kenya, managing a citizen-science based lion conservation project. My studies and fieldwork has developed me into a competent ecologist with a focus on applicable conservation research. I also believe that successful conservation rests largely in the hands of those who live alongside wildlife, and enabling communities to benefit from and actively protect wildlife is a fundamental goal of mine.
Alongside practical conservation and research, I also have a passion for art and creativity. Working first alongside my family and later as an independent community artist, I have run all manner of arts-related workshops in schools, museums and galleries and with all manner of community groups and non profits. My most extensive work has been on Caribbean Carnival, designing and creating large costumes for street processions and working with local Carnival groups to create costumes. I’ve worked all over the North West; some examples include the Bickershaw Heritage Project, Blackpool’s SHOWZAM! and Manchester PRIDE. No matter what, I’m always working on something artistic, be it wildlife art, some new designs for Chiffchaff Crafts or a commissioned portrait.
Here’s my general skills summary:
- Project management in the field of scientific research, community engagement and community events, for example, running big cat research in the Masai Mara
- Field skills over a variety of habitats and taxa in the UK and tropics developed through my work in Kenya and the UK, attending Field Studies Council courses and volunteering
- Advanced quantitative skills in data analysis and data management including ArcGIS, databases, R, MARK, including experimental design and data interpretation
- Demonstrated skills in writing reports and scientific publications
- Successful grant writing for both art groups (e.g. Arts Council England) and for conservation research (e.g. Panthera, AWF)
- Excellent communication and public engagement skills across multiple audiences and subjects
- Team leading and team building including employee supervision across East Africa and training in both conservation and the arts (e.g. leading Carnival artist apprenticeships)
- Teaching and tutoring experience across multiple subjects and skill levels from primary to undergraduate
- Graphic design skills with a focus on logo development and website design (e.g. Mara Predator Project, Wildlife Guardians, Dorret’s Deserts), information packs, newsletters and promotional materials (e.g. Preston Carnival)
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For a full CV and further details on experiences and qualifications please contact me.