My name is Reece Thornley. I am a 20 year old student, currently studying for a BSc in Wildlife Conservation at Liverpool John Moores University. Originally, I am from Grange Park, in Blackpool, the largest council estate in Lancashire and an area known to be run-down, socially deprived and associated with limited opportunity. It was while growing up in Blackpool that I attended Boundary primary school, and later, the recently closed Bispham High School and Blackpool Sixth-form College.
If you’d please excuse the cliché, I have had a passion for the natural world my entire life. It was upon seeing the documentary series, State Of The Planet by Sir David Attenborough, at the tender age of 11 that I knew immediately that my path in life had fallen right in front of me. It has been ever since then that I have done what I can to contribute to the preservation of nature and promoting the awareness of its plight. This is not some passing phase as many people have suggested to me. I fully intend to dedicate my life to this cause, hoping to achieve my life ambition in being awarded a Ph.D. on the subject, before commencing on my journey to make my mark on the world and leave it better for me being here.
In the summer of 2015 I intend to embark on a research assignment with Operation Wallacea to South Africa to study elephants for my dissertation. Developing a career in the conservation of elephants (and even conservation more broadly) is highly competitive, so this experience would provide me with my first steps in this field and also hopefully provide me with an edge over my peers. Operation Wallacea is an organisation, funded by tuition fees, that runs a series of biological and conservation management research programmes in remote locations across the world for students such as myself. It offers exceptional training, guidance and research opportunities in this field.
The infrastructure, support and expertise of Operation Wallacea will allow me to develop a study which will produce an outstanding level of in-depth workable data that allow me to develop my final year research project and even produce a publishable standard research paper. This will also provide me with sound experience in working in an objective and analytical fashion that is absolutely key to shaping me into the scientist I know I can and will become. Through developing these research skills I can provide advice and make recommendations that can make a difference in the world. This, I hope, will make the likes of Dr Jane Goodall and Sir David Attenborough proud to have inspired me.
So coming from a very low income, working class family, I have been supporting myself through university and will receive no financial assistance. I have raised just over £1000 pounds of the estimated £3800 plus pounds (when considering £3,000 for 6 week expedition, £285 for transfers from airport to reserve, £538 for flights and £150 for inoculations). I am aiming to rase at least 10% of my expedition cost (£3000=£300). I would be incredibly grateful if you, or representatives, will consider making a contribution to my fund. It would make my dream of visiting Africa and the opportunity to make a difference in the world, a reality.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.