"Where are Bermuda’s vacant lots located and is there a potential for future building?", "What is the status of Bermuda's protected trees?", "What is the correlation between abandoned buildings and crime on the island?" – These are just a few examples of the many questions four of Bermuda's young people have been answering this summer during their internship at the Department of Planning.
Under the supervision of Information Systems Officer Stewart Bruce and Senior Planning Officer Julie Marshall, Jessica Tannock, Onè Hart, Antonio Bailey and Meredith Gillespie have been doing research and writing reports about different aspects involved in the planning of the island.
Acting Director of the Department of Planning Chris Bulley said, "While it's vital that we all support and develop the skills of young Bermudians, the real delight has been to witness their enthusiasm, inquisitiveness and the fresh perspectives they brought to the tasks they were assigned. We believe they will return to their studies with a fuller understanding of how their theoretical knowledge needs to be adapted and applied to real project situations.
"We are both pleased and proud to have hosted each one of our talented interns and take this opportunity to thank them for their valued contributions to the Department, to celebrate their individual achievements and to wish them well as they continue their studies."
Jessica Tannock commenced her summer internship with the Department of Planning on August 7th 2017.
Jessica said, "I began with learning how to use the ArcGIS map-making software and was proud of the compositions resulting from my practice assignments. For the remainder of the internship I will focus on a project which entails recording and assessing the island's abandoned buildings. The data gained can be used to identify demographic trends that occur in the vicinity of these structures. There will be a map and research report generated from this project. In addition to increasing my knowledge of ArcGIS, the project will assist me in furthering my abilities in research, report writing and public consultation. I am confident that the skills to be developed through this internship will be of value to me in the immediate and distant future."
Onè Hart is currently working on Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) during her internship. TPOs protect specific trees or a particular area, group or woodland from deliberate damage and destruction.
Onè said, "My job is to plot the name of the trees, their location and their description. It is also important for me to identify areas missing protected trees. If I find a protected tree is no longer in place, I must make a note of the missing tree on the ArcGIS mapping software. Once I’ve plotted all of the trees, I will print the maps and photograph preserved trees."
Student Antonio Bailey is about to begin his third year of university, studying Computer Networking at London Metropolitan University. For the past 10 weeks he has been assigned to the Forward Planning Section of the Department for his internship.
Antonio said, "Working in the Forward Planning Section has exposed me to many new things and opportunities such as learning how to use a geographical information system known as ArcGIS. Many of the projects I have worked on for the Department have been based around ArcGIS; doing things such as editing conservation areas (i.e. Woodland Reserves and Agricultural Reserves) and mapping Conservation Management Plans.
"Working in the Department has been a great experience in all aspects - the people, the work, and the exposure that you receive. Before this internship I didn’t have a full understanding of what Planning actually did or what they are responsible for. Being here for the past 10 weeks has really opened my eyes and allowed me to appreciate the many things that they are involved in throughout Bermuda and all of the hard work that is required for each of the different processes. I would definitely recommend more people take the opportunity to intern with the Department."
Meredith Gillespie described her experience at the Department of Planning as "incredible".
Meredith said, "I was given the opportunity to create a report on residential land availability on the island. The objective was to determine whether there is enough land which is currently zoned as residential. The report involved examining the current amount of residential zoned land, land use and land supply. I was also able to analyze vacant lot and uninhabitable unit data. Using these data sources, I was able to determine the extra carrying capacity of residentially zoned land to support future residential demand. Not only did I gain experience using the ArcGIS software in this position, I also strengthened my report writing skills. My data analysis and representation skills were enhanced through the creation of a professional report with tables, charts and maps. I’ve also had the opportunity to learn about the different sections within Planning and I even went out on some site visits! This experience has been invaluable and I am looking forward to applying what I have learnt in my future endeavors."