Sheemal Dass has always had a deep love for the flora.
While growing up, she adored exploring her mum’s beautiful flower garden.
The fascination with flowers blossomed into a passion for the environment and to develop the expertise to help solve difficult environmental challenges facing the world today led her to pursue studies in Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science at Fiji National University (FNU).
Twenty-year-old Dass said the world is facing severe environmental challenges, pollution, climate change and species extinction and there is a need for people who are specialised in environmental studies.
Sharing her vision, Dass said she always wanted to have a career that will allow her to help benefit the environment, which in turn benefits society and future generations.
“I chose environmental science programme because I don’t want a typical 8-to-5 job. I would rather have a career working outdoors that not only financially supports me, but benefits the environment,” said Dass.
The Lautoka native said she was always fascinated by nature and passionate about conservations because of the evolving issues of climate change in the Pacific and the continuation of pollution across the world.
“I am eager to improve the world we live in, and environmental studies is a make a difference programme which allows me to help myself and others reconnect with our surrounding.
“The incredible things about the programme is that I get to understand the workings of the environment, locally, nationally and globally.
This is really vital when going into the future career and beyond as this continually increases our understanding of how the world operates,” she explained.
Currently, in her second year of studies, according to Dass, the Environmental Science programme has so far prepared her to attempt to tackle detrimental environmental issues and advocate society towards a more equitable and sustainable future.
“Environment science studies at FNU is a holistic programme because it integrates many different disciplines, including hardcore sciences (chemistry, biology) and social sciences.”
“Being part of this programme is a fascinating experience in many ways as FNU provides direct knowledge about the environment along with access to our lecturers who are experts in their field,” adds Dass.
An outdoor person, Dass said the programme has a correct balance of indoor and outdoor study sessions which aids to a better understanding of the field.
“The units for this programme are also immensely interesting, covering all aspects of the environment from biological, chemical, physical and mathematical standpoints,” she said.
After graduation, Dass plans to do some fieldwork and continue upgrading her studies on a part-time basis to a postgraduate level in Environmental Science.