2022 Awards Winners Spotlight: Promising Professional Award

Charlie Ward ACIEEM

This award was sponsored by:

Charlie began working for Thomson Environmental Consultants in March 2020 as an Assistant Ecologist and is now an Ecological Consultant and Marketing Coordinator. Over this time, her ecological knowledge and technical skills have developed considerably, enabling her to complete roles above her grade including managing ecological projects, leading survey teams, completing health and safety audits, delivering staff training, and managing the company’s digital marketing. For example, in one of her major projects, she worked as a Site Manager for HS2 Enabling Works Area North, overseeing a team of 30 undertaking ecological surveys, reporting to senior project managers, mentoring junior staff and undertaking her own protected species surveys.

As a site manager, Charlie was the first point of contact for site teams and dealt with several difficult situations including: conflicts with site protestors, challenging landowners, Covid-19 outbreaks, changing scope of work, colleagues struggling with mental health and equipment malfunctions. She approached these challenges quickly with a positive can-do attitude, remaining calm and collected in stressful situations and using initiative to find answers and implement solutions. As a result, the surveys (3,582 bat surveys and multiple reptile, water vole, otter, great crested newt and barn owl surveys) were completed to schedule. For this work, Charlie received excellent feedback from clients and colleagues, and was awarded Thomson’s Outstanding Performance Award.

Charlie has excelled in all her roles and has demonstrated she is a competent ecologist, resulting in her recent promotion to Ecological Consultant and achieving both Level 1 bat and GCN survey licences. She consistently builds meaningful work relationships by going above and beyond to support clients and colleagues, effectively working in a multidisciplinary team, and demonstrating empathy and engaging in active listening.

Charlie confidently delivers projects and task-specific training to junior colleagues and was invited to join the company’s Health and Wellbeing Committee, where she plays an integral role in promoting a positive work culture. She is also heavily involved in the company’s botany club (with more than 70 members) and influences others to improve upon their own botanical skills by sharing her creative self-directed herbaria.

Charlie is passionate about educating and inspiring others to appreciate and conserve the environment. Outside of her day job, she has led community bat walks, delivered career talks to 13-16 year olds and regularly volunteers at her local RSPB reserve and Girl Guide unit, delivering fun educational activities on different aspects of ecology. She has recently become a STEM ambassador to inspire more young people and raise the profile of Ecological Consultancy as a career.

We are posting further information on each of the 2022 CIEEM Awards Winners over on our blog.