Shelly Rothman, Master of Natural Resources, Natural Resource Management

Tell us a bit about yourself!shelley

My name is Shelly. I am from the United States, but I have lived in Namibia since 2010. I have a Bachelor's of Science in conservation biology and live and work on a farm where we experiment with different sustainable livestock and agriculture practices.

Why did you choose Novia UAS and Finland?

I chose Novia because they allowed me to take part in the programme from my farm, thousands of miles away in the southern hemisphere. It was very hard for me to find a university that I could attend from the African bush. I also appreciated that Novia expected us to already have experience in our field and had a part-time schedule to allow us to continue working. So, I'm very thankful for the unique opportunity.

Tell us about the degree programme you are studying on!

I am in the Natural Resources Management Master's degree programme. Everyone has been very kind, helpful, and flexible, working with a student so far away whom they have never met. I enjoy the other students in the class as well, we are a diverse bunch, from many different countries with different languages and different interests. It's great to be able to work on the assignments at my own pace, in between other parts of life. I also like learning about Finland and the EU through our course work. It is knowledge I wouldn't have gained otherwise, and I think it's valuable to see how other parts of the world deal with their environmental and political challenges.

What are your future plans?

In the future, I hope to continue working with sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty. Food is a common human denominator, we all need to eat, and it greatly impacts our other life-support systems: water, air, soil, climate, biodiversity. I think we've gotten off-track with conventional agriculture these days, and returning to more sustainable and ecological agriculture would have a huge effect on global problems like hunger, poverty, land degradation, and climate change. An important part of this system is that it remains small-scale and in the control of the people. I'd like to use my degree to move further with this work.