#66 Show Notes | Combating Exploitation in Conservation with Laura Marsh

What is Episode 66 all about?

Hello and welcome back to Rewildology, the podcast that explores conservation, travel, and rewilding the planet. I’m your host, Brooke Mitchell-Norman, conservation biologist and adventure traveler.

It is a well-known fact that there is little money floating around in conservation. Unpaid internships, minimum wage jobs, and sketchy volunteer “opportunities” in exchange for experience are all too common in the field. You might even have a story or two where you’ve been directly affected by exploitation. I know I have. If it wasn’t for my strong passion and finding creative ways to make ends meet, then I know I’d have left the field a while ago. This begs the question, How do we overcome this narrative? How do we make a more inclusive, financially stable conservation industry? 

To answer these questions and so much more, today we’re sitting down with Laura Marsh, founder of Nova Conservation and host of the Nova Conversations Podcast. Throughout her career, Laura experienced exploitation, overwork, and little pay, and as a solution, she founded Nova Conservation to create special eco-tours that benefited on-the-ground conservation projects through the most ethical means possible. She also started the Nova Conversations Podcast, a platform to openly talk about conservation’s herd of elephants in the room including exploitation, lack of diversity and inclusion, privilege, and predatory business practices that prey upon people just starting out in their careers. 

This conversation is actually a dual interview, making for a super fun and different podcast style. Laura and I take turns asking each other questions about our experiences in the field and the conclusions we’ve made along the way. I promise not all of today’s episode is heavy, but I’m grateful to finally have the opportunity to openly chat about these problems that must be addressed and hopefully help one of you avoid the issues we’ve encountered throughout our careers.

If you’ve had a similar experience or have some ideas on how to combat exploitation in conservation, please reach out to Laura or me! We’d love to chat with you and see how we, together, can make the field a much better place for anyone of any background to enter and thrive. You can do so by messaging me on Instagram @Rewildology or sending a message through the website at rewildology.com.

Alright, everyone. Here is my dual interview with Laura.

Listen to this episode.

#66 | Combating Exploitation in Conservation with Laura Marsh

Watch this episode on YouTube.

Nova Conservation
Website: https://novaconservation.com/
Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/1IGQGI4eh5BOR0RjLUeLQv

Resources Mentioned in the Show
The Conservation Network
Shackleton Research Trust
You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

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