After spending a few years in the workforce, Callum Mclean decided he wanted to focus on a field of study that would enable him to help change the world for the better.
His quest led him to the Master of Pest Management (specialising in plant pest management) at Lincoln University.
“It’s an internationally viable degree and the course is amazing for making you a competent and knowledgeable worker,” he says. “After one semester, I was able to spend a summer working with a regional council in plant pest management.”
Callum stresses that two of the biggest problems facing the world are population growth and climate change.
“Plant health is crucial to resolving both of these challenges. The crop losses to disease and pests can be staggering, running into the billions of dollars.
“Climate change will bring new disease and pests into New Zealand, making it increasingly important to tackle these before they become major issues.
“As we look for new solutions to these issues, we’ll be better able to support larger populations. PSA is a prime example of the risk to New Zealand and this study programme prepares you to tackle those problems.”
Callum says that “New Zealand would not be New Zealand without its native trees and forests”, as they provide habitats for the country’s unique fauna.
“Climate change is going to put pressure on these invaluable forests, which will require care to ensure they remain for future generations.”
After graduating, he plans to work in the public sector and says the degree can offer a wide range of job opportunities.
“Protection of our agricultural sector is an incredibly important job, and there are amazing careers in this space. There’s also work with regional and district councils all around New Zealand and jobs working in ecology and conservation.
“Additionally, you could pursue private sector work in consultancy, particularly around biosecurity.”