Hometown: Litchfield, ME
Advanced study: Master's of science degree in conservation biology, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Current job/field: Conservation planning, Cape Town, South Africa
A day on the job: "My days vary greatly. Sometimes I am facilitating meetings or workshops with teams of partners or stakeholders we are working on a particular project with; other times I am overseeing literature reviews or expert interviews in order to use the best available science to inform a particular decision or guideline; still other days find me doing GIS (Geographic Information System) analyses, or coordinating various elements of our conservation plans. I also occasionally teach others about our planning methodology and tools; and some (of the best) days are reserved for getting to know an area or ecosystem on the ground – and reminding me about the places we are trying to protect."
A special UVM ENSC experience: "The ENSC classes and labs opened my eyes and mind to what it would mean to be an environmental scientist in the world today — from basic scientific method and ecological understanding, to environmental policy, resource economics, and conservation practice. The ENSC program inspired me not just to get my feet wet, but to jump into as many practical experiences as I could. For example, I spent one UVM summer as an intern tracking mountain lion in the Huachuca Mountains to help better understand how they use the landscape, how they may be responding to encroaching development, and how such data can help inform land-use decisions. Another summer I worked for the Maine State Planning Office helping establish a baseline monitoring protocol for state-held conservation easements, and coordinating a survey of riparian buffer zone conditions along the Sheepscot River in compliance with the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Plan. These experiences added tremendous value and realism to my academic studies, increased my confidence, and were fun to boot!"
Hometown: Acton, MA
Advanced study: Master's of environmental management degree in environmental chemistry, Duke University
Current job/field: From environmental consultant to Ph.D. student in environmental chemistry, University of Oklahoma
A day on the job: "Interacting with faculty, students and administrators; sometimes teaching lectures, labs and help sessions; performing computer modeling (computational chemistry); completing literature reviews; attending interdepartmental meetings to discuss new research directions; presenting and explaining my research progress/ideas; writing."
Remembering a special UVM experience in the field: "In the summer before my senior year, I was a McNair Scholar at Clarkson University. I spent the summer conducting my own research project and then returned to UVM in the fall and wrote a manuscript as an independent study project. That experience gave me the confidence to apply to graduate programs that year. The ENSC department was so helpful in finding students internships and other out-of-class experiences to pursue."
How well theUVM ENSC program prepared you for current career path: "At UVM, I was able to get a well-rounded, well planned education in Environmental Sciences. The program has found a good way to teach the necessary skills while also encouraging creativity and personal growth. ENSC successfully developed a core of knowledge in a field that can span so many disciplines and can sprout in so many directions. It can be difficult to prepare students to work in a field with so many different challenges; however, the ENSC program at UVM rose to the challenge. It provided me with a strong academic foundation for which I am grateful."
Hometown: Hudson, OH
Current job/field: environmental scientist/consultant, Dallas, TX
A day on the job: "I like my job because every day is different. Some days I am out in the field walking a proposed pipeline route looking for items that will be needed for permitting, some days I am out in the field doing wetland delineations, and some days I am in the office writing reports, writing permit applications, or meeting with clients and engineers."
How well the UVM ENSC program prepared you for current career path: "Coming out of school, I had a great environmental science foundation to improve upon. This raw knowledge has been immeasurable and has allowed me to focus on the things I needed to learn quickly. Obviously, a simple knowledge of Vermont plants and animals isn’t what I use most in my job in Dallas, Texas. More important is that I was taught how to effectively learn and understand. This goes way beyond just simple memorization and is applicable in all facets of life. Related to this is the school’s emphasis on critical thinking. By using the methods and ideas taught to us, I have been able to apply my education to issues and topics that I have never dealt with before. It has helped me when I write reports, during meetings, and in the field. My education and training in the ENSC program at UVM is a vital part of why I have been successful in my job."
How you chose the ENSC program at UVM: "I came to UVM specifically for the ENSC major in the Rubenstein School. I knew that I wanted to do environmental sciences, and I wanted a challenging program that excited me. My focus area was water resources."