News - July 11, 2015

Summer job: Mud fights on the mudflats

Wageningen students like to be busy during their holidays. Resource portrays students who use their summer holidays to work in their discipline. This week: Carien Meppelink.

Carien Meppelink wanders this summer for a week with tourists on Schiermonnikoog. This way the student biology and communication shares her passion for nature.

As a voluntary mudflat guide Carien shows groups of fifteen to twenty tourists around. The excursions are on diverse subjects: from a spice tour to identifying insects with children. Carien: ‘The thing I like most is to go onto the mudflats with people. Children who have a lot of fun and find it wonderful that they may indeed be dirty one time. Parents who have mud fights and are less easy to stop than the children. That's really funny.’

Her passion for nature made her to study biology at Wageningen. After her bachelor she switched to communication. "I like to know something about biology, but I want to keep it as a hobby, not as a profession. I also missed the ‘human’ aspect too much in biology, it was too research oriented for me. That is why I am doing a somewhat more applied master.’

‘It's nice to combine both disciplines as a mudflat-guide and there is also the possibility to tie a vacation to it. Even if you work more or less full time, it does not feel that way,’ says Carien. Connections can be found between the guiding and her study program: her internship is about the effects of nature and environment education. In the future, she will continue to deal with education and awareness.

And what does she expect from this summer? "I hope I remember it all," says Carien. Because the work is seasonal and this is only her second season, she thinks she has to refresh her knowledge at the beginning. ‘I'm certainly very much looking forward to be back on the island.’