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Campus Celebrity: Sean Young

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Exeter Cornwall chapter.

1) What are you studying?

Politics and Geography.

2) What made you choose Exeter Cornwall?

I had a few friends in Truro who I played rugby with and they said I should check out the campus! Thank you to them!

3) What are you involved with on campus?

I love taking part Politics Society debates, socials and trips. I’m also kinda busy fundraising for our research expedition to Cambodia this summer!

4) Tell me about your upcoming trip to Cambodia

Myself and seven other FXU students are set to head out to the Kep islands for two months this Summer, conducting biodiversity research alongside RUAC (Royal University of Agriculture in Cambodia), and in association with Marine Conservation Cambodia.

5) Why did you decide to get involved with this work?

The expedition follows on from Expedition Samloem in 2013 and Project Kep in 2014. I figured that the expedition has a good chance of encouraging a long-lasting relationship between all the different organisations involved, and I really want to be a part of something which actually helps conservation efforts in an area facing rapid development.

6) What do you think are the long-term benefits of the work you’ll be doing?

We’re trying to set up some open source biodiversity mapping, which will mean that future expeditions and stakeholders can overlay data on top of ours whenever possible which will build up a better understanding of the biodiversity needs for future developers. Since this is the third year we will be researching with Marine Conservation Cambodia, and RUAC, the aim is that students will continually be able to continue to work in partnership on the islands.

7) Is there somewhere people can go to keep up to date with the work that you’re doing?

Yes! Search on facebook for: Expedition FXCambodia

and on twitter: @fxcambodia2015 (for updates whilst we’re in the field!)

Finally, we’ve got a crowdfunder page, for which we’ve made a short film about the expedition: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/fxcambodia-2015-biodiversity-research-in-kep

8) What can people do if they want to start up their own projects like this?

Ben Toulson is FXpeditions director, although is set to be replaced by Susie Phillips next year. Both of whom are excellent people if you want to know more. Ben recently gave a talk about how to set up your own expedition and is definitely the person to email about grants applications, logistics, and fundraising. As long as you’re prepared to put in the hours, anything is possible. Contrary to popular belief there is still plenty of uninhabited remoteness on this planet! Pick a country which has a personal interest to you – a unique problem it’s facing, unmapped territory; something like that. On top of that it is fundamentally important to start making in-country contacts too – these are the people who will put a roof over your heads, feed you, and ultimately who will benefit from your expedition. If when you come back following the expedition there is nobody in-country who can follow up what you started, the expedition is at risk of being a bit imperialistic.

9) What are your plans after you graduate this year?

My brother is moving to Australia this year, and I’ll be taking a gap year living and working out there with him before a glamorous life as a researcher for an MP in Westminster begins…

10) What is your most memorable experience of university?

In second year my friends and I had to buy an outfit for a partner with a budget of £15 in a charity shop. I graced Club I in a pink tutu, pink leggings and a very tight woman’s night gown. An experience I’ve never lived down.

11) What will you miss the most about University?

Campfires on Maenporth Beach with my girlfriend.

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Cecelia Armstrong

Exeter Cornwall

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Hannah Harrison

Exeter Cornwall

Aspiring entertainment journalist who dreams of living and working in the USA. Currently studying English Literature at the University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus.