About CSci

  • Dr Trevor Turpin
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Dr Trevor Turpin
Featured Profile: 
At A Glance
Licensed Body: 
South West
First Degree: 
Economics & Administration
Environmental Planner
Works For: 
Nicholas Pearson Associates
Big Picture
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
A doctor
Who or what inspired you to become a scientist? 
Dr Kildare TV programme
What do you love about your job and being a “scientist”? 
Resolving problems
What qualifications did you take at school? 
GCE O Levels
Why did you choose your first degree subject? 
Economics & Administration – I thought, if I can’t be an expert in anything I might as well manage others!
Do you have a Masters or PhD? If not, was it difficult to demonstrate Masters-level equivalence in order to achieve CSci? 
How do you describe your job when you meet people at a party? 
I do the environment
Describe briefly how your career has progressed to date. 
This is the long bit….having decided on a medical career it probably wasn’t a good start to fail ‘O’ level Biology so don’t know how I got interviews at medical school – anyway, didn’t get accepted so proceeded to pass with top grade at second attempt, where I progressed to ‘A’ levels. And failed again. And again. After failing chemistry, physics and zoology 3 times (I collected a lot of ‘O’levels!), I thought a change of plan might be in order. I had been working in drugs research and locust research in labs and it wasn’t that exciting so I thought perhaps management might be easier so did an OND in Business studies (and ‘A’ level Law just to prove that I could do ‘A’ levels). The OND got me onto a degree in Economics and Administration which I completed but didn’t enjoy. At this stage I started an OU degree and secured a lowly job with the River Authority managing river pollution – sort of management and science (I kept quiet about my lack of success at science!) After 12 years of pollution control, I thought I ought to get qualified in it so having had some on the job training plus my ongoing OU degree, I opted for a Masters in Environmental Pollution Control in the early 80s at a time when environment wasn’t as common as it is now at university. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) caught my imagination and again it combines management with the passion for environmental protection so I could do it. I qualified as the law was being adapted to take account of EU Directives so I was in the right place at the right time; I joined a consultancy (Nicholas Pearson Associates) and haven’t looked back. I was elected to the council of the Institute of Environmental Assessment in 1997. In 2002 I co-authored a book on EIA and we updated it in 2009. In the meantime, I undertook a p/t PhD on the environmental impacts of reservoirs and dams and then wrote Dam in 2008. I now lecture and tutor on EIA at Bath University p/t as well as writing and consultancy
Would you say you have a good standard of living/ work-life balance? 
What kind of hobbies or extracurricular activities do you do to relax? 
Vintage motor car driving
What is the value of professional bodies? 
Essential especially in consultancy, it’s the only way to keep up-to-date
How important is CPD? What do you think of the revalidation process in ensuring that CSci is a mark of current competence? 
Of paramount importance – I insist on it as a term of employment for those I employ!
Advice & Reflection
What words of wisdom would you give someone interested in getting into your field? 
Do it if you’ve got a passion for it and you’ll find your niche eventually
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