Krishen Chauhan is a third year BSc Hons Environmental Management student who has managed to get this far in his degree despite being fully blind. Adding to this, he has big plans of going on to complete a Masters in Conservation Management which would lead to his desired career.
He chose to study this specific course because of his interest in wild flowers. When asked about the reasoning behind studying this course at UCLan he said: “It was because of the tutors; they really helped a lot. They were the most approachable and embraced my blindness whereas other universities would just tolerate it.”
He went on to say that the tutors would help with his assessments by providing research materials, describe the information on the PowerPoint presentations to help make it more engaging as well as helping to make the field trips more accessible.
Krishen’s favourite parts about the course are the extensive opportunities for practical work, the number of different field trips that are available throughout the three years of study, the work experience module which allows for hands-on experience out in the field and finally the freedom of the dissertation module in the final year, where he is growing Pasque flowers in captivity for the wild.
When asked about his greatest achievement so far, Krishen stated two: “Being granted the opportunity to go to Ghana in the second year to help with Mangrove planting as well as going into the rainforest.”
He went on to praise the tutors again saying it was made possible due to the tutors making it all accessible for him, such as allowing him to hold the insects. His second greatest achievement was undertaking the work experience module with the Forest of Bowland at Beacon Fell where he participated in hay-meadow restoration: “It was very practical and hands-on being able to help grow the Grove flowers.”
His enthusiasm for the environment and plants did not stop within his degree, as Krishen also volunteers with the Green Ladder Project at the University where he has represented UCLan at different events such as in Liverpool during his second year. Krishen said: “I like having the ownership and responsibility of creating new wildlife areas as well as being given a budget to choose the flowers.”
The advice he would give to prospective students would be: “If you bring enthusiasm to the course then you will get the same, if not more, back from the tutors.”