Alumna Erica Blyther, Environmental Supervisor at LAX Airport, to Share Career Insights on Nov. 2-3 

October 23, 2017

Contact: Tim Lucas, 919/613-8084,

Nicholas School alumna alumni Erica Blyther LAX story BIG

DURHAM, N.C. – Nicholas School alumna Erica Blyther, environmental supervisor at Los Angeles World Airports, will share career insights with current undergraduate and graduate students during a two-day visit to the school on November 2 and 3.

Students will be able to schedule one-on-one meetings with Blyther, interact with her in small group discussions, or attend a presentation and Q&A session she’ll lead on projects where diversity and inclusion played a key role regarding sustainability for the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Blyther graduated from Duke with a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences and policy in 1998. For the past 10 years, she has helped lead efforts to reduce energy waste, improve water-use efficiency, promote sustainable purchasing, develop green infrastructure, and protect nearby ecosystems and species – including an endangered species of butterfly – at LAX, one of the world’s busiest aviation hubs.

Her visit to the Nicholas School coincides with the publication of the latest issue of DukeEnvironment magazine, which features a profile about Blyther and her work.

A highlight of her visit will be her presentation, "Rising TIDE: 3 Ways Diversity & Inclusion are Improving Sustainability for Los Angeles/LAX,” at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in Field Auditorium. A Q&A session will follow. The event will be live-streamed and shared on Facebook Live for external audiences.

Students will also have four other opportunities to speak with Blyther:

  • Coffee Chat – Career Conversations,” from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in the Environment Hall Art Gallery. Open to both graduate and undergraduate students. No registration is required, but seating is limited to 25.
  • Discussion and Q&A with students in ENV245 “Theory and Practice of Sustainability,” at 10:20 a.m. Friday, Nov. 3 in Perkins Library.
  • One-on-One Career Chats with Students, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in Environment Hall 4105. Up to six 20-minute slots are available for undergraduate or graduate students to speak with Blyther individually. To reserve a time, go here
  • Lunch with ENV/EOS Students,” at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, in the Environment Hall Boardroom.  Up to 10 ENV or EOS students can join Blyther for a lunchtime discussion about her work to devise innovative solutions to reduce LAX’s greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and waste production. Lunch will be provided. To register, go here.  

After graduating from Duke in 1998, Blyther returned to her hometown of Los Angeles to work in the city’s Environmental Affairs Department. She began working at Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) in 1999. Her early work at LAWA primarily focused on regulatory compliance for hazardous materials, waste, noise pollution and stormwater management. In 2005, she received an M.S. from California State University Northridge in environmental and occupational health, studying for her degree while working fulltime.

The Nicholas School’s Office of Marketing & Communications is organizing Blyther’s visit with support from the Diverse and Inclusive Community for the Environment (DICE) student group; the school’s Undergraduate Programs; its Career and Professional Development Center; and its D&I Actionators committee.