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Where are ENVST graduates?

Nik MacPhee '18 (ENSVT & GIS Certificate) 

Wildlife Technician - US Forest Service

Why did you choose the ENVST program as a major?

"I chose ENVST because I wanted to tailor my degree to what my future goals were. Using this degree, I was able to not only take as much wildlife, conservation, environmental science, and biology courses as I could, but I was also able to take classes in ENVST that taught me how to apply that knowledge to better conserve and protect resources within the United States in a way that benefits a multi-use environment. Emphasizing in Land Management, Conservation, and Place allowed me to gain a knowledge of our public lands in a way that has awarded me the capabilities to immerse myself in federal land management as a wildlife technician." 

How would you describe a day in your position?

"My day as a wildlife tech usually consists of surveying habitat needs for various species. For the spring-fall 2019, I’ll be surveying habitat needs for Canada lynx in Montana, which largely entails monitoring snowshoe hare presence. 2018 consisted of monitoring wildlife water developments in the West Desert. My work is majority seasonal, so the summer is when the magic happens. I wake up in the backcountry, survey a set amount of locations for the day, marvel at the wildlife and surroundings, and go to bed in my campsite as the happiest person alive! When I’m in the office, I’m usually developing or maintaining geo-spatial databases for the surveys and other projects for other departments. My office days also consist of planning field logistics and making backup plans in case things go south when I’m out." 

What advice do you have for current ENVST students?

"If you have an interest in working for the government, check out USA Jobs immediately and go over the course requirements for each position. Make sure you’re graduating with the courses you need to pursue the career that you want! You may also find that there are positions you hadn’t thought of before that may fit your interests as well. Some additional advice is to gain as much experience as possible during your time with the program. Volunteer, do multiple internships, participate in community events. Just having a degree won’t necessarily land you the job. Go above and beyond and show them what you’re made of!" 

Drew Kennedy '18 (ENSVT & Geography

Master's Student - University of Utah, Geography 

Salt Lake City, UT 

Why did you choose the ENVST program as a major?

" I have always feared the threat of human influenced climate change. I wanted to understand the processes driving climate change and to understand what I could to do better. Also, I am interested in understanding the power of grassroots organizing and how community ties and events can encourage people to make a change in their day-to-day lives." 

How would you describe a day in your position?

"When I go to the Natural History Museum to do my research I am preparing charcoal samples, or pollen samples to count. Or I am cutting the sediment core by a millimeter interval. Other days I am reading academic papers to add to an annotated bibliography to make writing my thesis manuscript easier after the lake sediment cores have been analyzed. When I am not in the lab I’m in class and trying to develop technical skills that will be marketable like GIS or working in R just in case following my Master’s degree I decide to get a job rather than going on to a PhD program." 

What advice do you have for current ENVST students?

"I think ENVST students should get involved in doing a UROP as a way of getting their foot in the water of research to help in deciding if they want to go into grad school. Also, I think it’s a really good idea to do a double major or a ENVST major with a minor to expand your horizons and seem more marketable in the job market." 

Jordin Hartley '18 (ENSVT & Earth Science Minor) 

Master's Student - University of Utah, Geography 

Salt Lake City, UT 

Why did you choose the ENVST program as a major

"I am interested in using resources efficiently and sustainably (including land use), minimizing waste, and social equality."

How would you describe a day in your position? 

"A typical day consists of class, lab time, reading, and homework. When I leave campus after lab work, classes, office hours, etc., I go home and do reading and grading for at least one hour before settling down, fixing dinner and going to bed." 

What advice do you have for current ENVST students?

Do a double major or add a minor. Although I found concepts learned in ENVST valuable, when I was taking classes in the program I did not feel as if it was enough to constitute an entire major. Adding a second major or at least a minor will provide a wider array of skills to prepare students for a career or graduate studies." 

Georgie Corkery '17 (ENSVT  & Urban Ecology)

 Conservation Chair   Great Salt Lake Aububon Board
Sustainability Coordinator   Utah Pride Festival 
Substitute Teacher   Utah Schools for the Def and Blind
Staff   Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment

Salt Lake City, UT 

Why did you choose the ENVST program as a major?

"It made the most sense to learn about such an important and interesting issue, and I wanted to know more about it (because I knew basically nothing about environmentalism)."

How would you describe a day in your position? 

"I teach in the mornings, work in the office for 4 hours, attending coordination meetings, and go out into the field on a weekly basis to bird or do conservation work." 

What advice do you have for current ENVST students?

"Get involved in extracurricular activities, sit down with your professors once a semester, and take the hard classes." 

Sam Taylor '13 (ENSVT & Geography

Lead Watershed Scientist – Salt Lake County 

Salt Lake City, UT 

Why did you choose the ENVST program as a major?

"Growing up the outdoors were always the place I could go to relax whether it be family trips or an afternoon in the mountains. ENVST was one of the few programs that recognized this space as an, often fragile, resource." 

How would you describe a day in your position? 

"There are a lot of seasonal changes to an average day, but I always have a mix of outside and inside work. Usually days are spent waist deep in the water looking at river channel stability or collecting macroinvertebrate samples, other days are spent cleaning and processing all the field data we collect."

What advice do you have for current ENVST students?

"Find a field or program you’re truly interested in and talk to folks who have been there for a while. See what they were doing when they were in your place and ask if you’re moving in the same direction."

 Jay Jensen '17

MD student, Marshall University

Huntington, West Virginia

Jay Jensen is a medical student at Marshall University located in Huntington West Virginia. His prior work in research has been in anesthesiology and neurobiology testing treatment alternatives to opioids. He aims to focus on medical treatment for low income people in rural areas.  In his free time he enjoys running, biking, and skiing.

Lexi Kaili '16

Lexi is currently working as the Citizen Science Coordinator at the Natural History Museum of Utah.  Her goal while working with the Natural History Museum of Utah is to not only share her love for the outdoors but also to expand the growing field of citizen science.  The idea behind citizen science is that anyone can gather data, you don't have to be a scientist (they can't do it all on their own), and you can find endless biodiversity in your own neighborhood.  She plans to encourage participation in the scientific process to address problems and advocate for social and environmental justice issues.  Throughout the year she will be hosting events around the Wasatch to find and document as many species of plants and animals as possible.  Since she is in the Community Outreach department, another main focus of her role will be to foster lasting relationships with the community (especially Latino/a).  The NHMU strives to be a leader in diversity and inclusion and will be expanding efforts to bring the museum resources out to the community.

She also strongly believes that educating youth through outdoor learning opportunities is crucial at a very early age to not only spark curiosity, but to also develop a deep connection to the natural world.  Her hope is that this fundamental appreciation for the interconnectedness of all living things is going to create the next generation of advocates and activists. 

Carlie Teague

Carlie Teague '16

I am currently emailing you from the comfort of my cubical at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.  I've hit the jackpot! This week I started as the GIS Intern for the TRPA in the Research and Analysis Department. The TRPA is a perfect combination of all three of my degrees and am so excited to say that I've found my niche. I couldn't wait to share this news with you! My current position is only a limited-duration internship, but it looks like there is potential to stay on for quite some time or hopefully get hired permanently.  Carlie graduate  in 2016 with degrees from ENVST, Geography and Economics.

Genie Bey

Genie Bey

Eugenia Bey is a Master's candidate at California State University in Long Beach, CA, where she studies human-environmental geography. She has been recognized as a 2017 - 2018 Switzer Fellow through the Switzer Foundation, and as a Graduate Research Fellow through the College of Liberal Arts at CSULB. She is passionate about climate adaptation and resilience planning using ecosystem-based solutions such as green infrastructure. Her work focuses on helping to educate and engage populations most vulnerable to climate-related impacts, and to find community-based solutions for the challenges that lie ahead. Prior to her studies at CSULB, Eugenia engaged communities in Salt Lake City, UT in renewable energy initiatives through her work as an Outreach Associate at 3Degrees Inc., and also acted as the Sustainability Ambassador and Materials Research Associate to inform and lead the design of a large-scale green infrastructure project hosted by the University of Utah College of Architecture and Planning for the Marriott Library. Eugenia graduated with honors from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Environmental and Sustainability Studies, and B.S. in Urban Ecology, where she was dedicated to enriching the lives of her peers on campus by directing and participating in multiple student groups from her respective disciplines, including the Sustainability Leadership Committee and the Student Collective of Allied Planners and Ecologists. She has also volunteered withurban agriculture and environmental justice non-profit organizations, with her current efforts focusing on helping to establish Long Beach, CA as one of the California Environmental Justice Alliance’s “Green Zone” cities. Eugenia looks forward to advancing climate adaptation and resilience planning through community engagement and green infrastructure initiatives after the culmination of her graduate studies through directing a non-profit organization.

kyle strayer

Kyle Strayer '16 (ENVST) 
Outreach Coordinator, SLCGreen

Salt Lake City, UT 
After completing the ENVST program at the University of Utah, Kyle has been working for Salt Lake City's Department of Sustainability as the Outreach Coordinator.  This involves assisting in educational outreach campaigns, developing online content, and managing SLCGreen's student interns.  The combination of working on sustainability issues and visual media has been a rewarding result of the position and Kyle is continually seeking to further develop his skills and education in the field. 

Sara Baldwin Auck '05
Director, Regulatory Program at Interstate Renewable Energy Council(IREC)
As IREC’s Regulatory Program Director, Sara is responsible for managing the development of IREC’s regulatory strategy, establishing priorities for engagement, and assisting with the strategy implementation.   Prior to joining IREC, Sara served as Senior Policy and Regulatory Associate at Utah Clean Energy, a non-profit organization where she was responsible for directing and implementing strategic policy and regulatory efforts relating to renewable energy and energy efficiency in Utah and the West.  Her involvement in state, federal, and local policy efforts has led to the adoption of several policies that help level the playing field for clean energy,including net metering, interconnection, third-party financing, and commercial PACE, among others. She has served as Project Manager for numerous successful projects.

       Michelle Brown
       Environnmental Coordinator, Hogle Zoo

After graduating with her Professional Masters of Science Technology Degree in Environmental Science in 2014, Michelle went to work for Utah’s Hogle Zoo as their Environmental Coordinator.  At the Zoo, she is responsible for all sustainability- based Zoo initiatives, staff education and engagement, and community outreach, and is loving it!

Kelsey Howard, '14
Graduate Student, University of Utah
Kelsey is currently attending graduate school at the University of Utah in the geography department. Her Master’s research is focused on studying paleoecology and spring productivity in Utah’s west desert by reconstructing past fire and   vegetation histories, as well as past climates through the use of pollen and charcoal from wetland sediments. An anticipated goal of her research is to determine spring activity related to Paleo-Indian and recent human occupation in western  Utah. Kelsey became interested in paleoecology as an undergraduate while researching the fire history of a wetland in Mexico under Jennifer Watt and Andrea Brunelle. She also competed two semesters of undergraduate research through the  Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). This research focused on investigating the impacts of mountain pine beetle outbreaks on vegetation in the Northern Rocky Mountains. 

Sharon Leopardi

Sharon started the B.U.G. Farms CSA and sold it in 2015 to move to Hawaii where she is now a seasonally permanent resident. She currently works and lives on an off-grid tropical permaculture farm/wellness center with a hot spring that is called Sacred Source Springs.  The center leads health focused raw food retreats, provides catering for groups and events, and also hosts weekly events on property for our commmunity including farm to table dinners, music, and hot spring soaking. Most of the food they use in their programs is grown on their 20 acre property.  When Sharon is not in Hawaii she also have been going on multi-month long thru-hikes. She have completed the Te Araroa Trail across 1,900 miles of New Zealand, 500 miles of the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado, and this upcoming summer she will be walking about 1,600 miles on the Continental Divide Trail through Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. She is creating a blog to share her intentional hiking adventures, You can also find me her on instagram at @hikewithsharon.

Colin P. Ganong, '12
Environmental Planner-Transcon Environmental, Inc.
Consulting for electric and gas utilities in California and throughout the western United States, Colin leads early stage feasibility, siting and routing, and constraints analyses for linear infrastructure in environmentally sensitive locations. In addition to early stage planning work, Colin has extensive experience with federal and state environmental compliance regulations and has collaborated with most major federal land management agencies. Colin was recently appointed to the board of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Association of Environmental Professionals as Communications Co-Director. Although he now considers himself a full-time desk jockey, Colin looks back fondly on his fieldwork-focused internships. Colin's first college internship was with Utah Open Lands where he worked as a field technician and his second internship was with the Utah BLM were he helped develop visual resource inventories throughout the beautiful state of Utah. 

Norah Olley, '11
Associate, Origin Climate

 Norah is a former ASUU Director of Sustainability who started the Recycle Rice      Eccles program at the Utah football stadium. She is currently at Origin    Climate, consulting clients in the identification of renewable energy options and carbon  emission quantification. She researches global energy markets, conducts financial and    feasibility analysis, and helps bring new renewable projects to fruition. Prior to joining Origin, Norah was a Sustainability Manager for ESPN, responsible for creating and implementing comprehensive programs at ESPN's College Gameday, the Summer and Winter X Games, and the ESPYs Awards. She executed onsite programs to reduce energy use, emissions from temporary facilities, and waste. Norah’s dedication stems from the passion to help others via environmental sustainability. When she isn't working, she can most often be found outside on an adventure.

Kim PhotoKim Hall, '08
Black Diamond Equipment - Retail Marketing Coordinator
Kim added Environmental and Sustainability Studies as a second major due to her passions for adventuring in the outdoors-wanting to be educated about the places in which she adventured. Her passion for outdoor activities has lead her to a career with Black Diamond Equipment. Kim has worked her way through the company, from the Black Diamond Retail Store to Direct to Consumer Sales and now Marketing. As the Retail Marketing Coordinator Kim is responsible for the creation, development and implementation of all in-store marketing programs, services and tools, as well as all merchandising components of branded environments, such as tradeshows, company meetings and events. Although working for the outdoor industry was not a part of the "plan," Kim has great enjoyed the challenges it presents and still pulls from the knowledge she gained from her time as an Environmental Studies student.

McKenzie Skiles Photo S. McKenzie Skiles, '08
Postdoctoral Researcher, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
McKenzie is a California Institute of Technology postdoctoral researcher working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Her research interests include snow hydrology, snow optics, and cryosphere-climate interaction. McKenzie grew up in Anchorage, AK and her research is motivated by both her love of snow and concern over climate and land use change impacts. After completing a double major in Geography and Environmental Studies in 2008, she went on to complete a MS in Geography (also at the University of Utah) in 2010, and a PhD in Geography at the University of California- Los Angeles in 2014. Her graduate work focused mainly on the impacts of light absorbing aerosols in snow in the Colorado River Basin, but she has also completed fieldwork in the Sierra Nevada, European Alps, and Greenland. McKenzie has received multiple awards for her research, including an Water Resources Research Editor's Choice Award for her her article 'Dust radiative forcing in snow of the Upper Colorado River Basin: Part II. Interannual variability in radiative forcing and snowmelt rates'.

Brandon Lee

Brandon B. Lee, '05
ABSG Consulting Inc. Arlington, VA
Director, Environmental and Economic Policy and Regulation 

Mr. Lee leads and manages projects related to environmental, regulatory, economic, and security risk-related issues for ABS Consulting, a maritime risk firm. Mr. Lee has led projects analyzing environmental impacts in the Western U.S., regional, national, and international air emissions and climate change, air and water regulations. Mr. Lee has analyzed carbon emissions and emissions pricing, the efficacy of various trading, and control models. Mr. Lee has conducted studies of the impact of aquatic invasive species from ballast water and biofouling and has helped technology companies understand the rules and regulations for government certification and approval. Mr. Lee has also drafted environmental safety regulations for the ports of Abu Dhabi; environmental discharge regulations for the U.S. Coast Guard fleet, and other environmental policies.

Jason Robison

Jason Robison, '03
Assistant Professor at the University of Wyoming College of Law
Professor Robison's research and teaching interests generally revolve around water law and related areas of environmental and natural resources law and policy. He began his work in this field while earning a B.S. in Environmental Studies at the University of Utah and subsequently completed a J.D. at the University of Oregon School of Law, as well as an LL.M. and S.J.D. at Harvard Law School. Professor Robison has held law and policy positions with the Oregon Department of Justice, Oregon Supreme Court, Water Security Initiative at Harvard University, Colorado River Governance Initiative at University of Colorado Law School, and Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School. He also has worked as a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard History Department, and Environmental Science and Public Policy Program at Harvard College. Of central importance within Professor Robison’s scholarship is the elaborate body of laws governing allocation and management of water within the Colorado River Basin (colloquially, the “Law of the River”)—a subject on which he had the exceptional opportunity of writing his S.J.D. dissertation while in residence at the University of Utah as a visiting scholar graciously hosted by the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program and the College of Law’s Wallace Stegner Center.

Kim DurrKimberly Durr
Education and Outreach Coordinator,
Utah Society for Environmental Education
An internship through the ENVST program led Kim to her position at the Utah Society for Environmental Education (USEE). As the Education and Outreach Coordinator, she works with partners in the environmental education community to get people excited about the environment and to teach them how to think, not what to think, about the environment. She helps to distribute environmental education curriculum to formal and non-formal educators across the state through workshops and an annual environmental education conference.
Kim is also involved in the development and implementation of a growing Utah Green Schools Program, which encourages Utah's schools to teach and practice sustainability. Playing a role in the environmental literacy of the next generation is extremely rewarding to her. When not working, you can find Kim traveling or exploring the outdoors with her pup.

Holden ReinertHolden Reinert
Southwest Montana Land Steward Assistant
Nature Conservancy
Holden graduated from the University of Utah with a BS in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Working at the Nature Conservancy, Holden is responsible for carrying out science based land conservation plans, which range from riparian and rangeland ecology, to forestry and hydrology projects. Perhaps the most important part of the position requires establishing and maintaining relationships with the local community, mostly ranchers, in order to protect vital lands from being developed. He is currently looking to continue his education and attend law school in the fall.

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Last Updated: 3/1/19