Erica began her environmental career early on with an interest in science in elementary school. Later as she became aware of the earth’s dire environmental crisis, she began to encourage friends in school to recycle and decided that she would study the environment in college. While attending Duke she was able to gain an invaluable environmental education, study a semester abroad in Madagascar and gain hands on environmental experience via interning. During the summer of 1996, she interned at Waste Management’s Bradley Landfill where she worked on reporting VOCs for air emission reports and conducted ground water sampling. In the summer of 1997 she interned at Hughes Aircraft’s Opto-Mechanical Division, where she used an Infra-Red scanner to produce emission spectra while analyzing chemical components to determine levels of adhesiveness.
Happily, soon after graduation, in December 1998, she began working on her environmental career with the City of Los Angeles at the Environmental Affairs Department where she wrote articles and researched topics for the Greening Guide and provided information for the Environmental Information Center. Erica became an Environmental Specialist with the City of Los Angeles in June 1999 and in 2008 an Environmental Supervisor. Throughout her career, Erica has had the opportunity to work for various city departments on many environmental issues including water quality, water conservation, water supply, energy, policy, planning (CEQA/NEPA), air quality, storm water and hazardous substance management.
Erica pursued her Master’s degree while working full time and participating in the city’s tuition re-imbursement program. In 2005, she received her Master’s Degree in Environmental and Occupational Health with honors from California State University - Northridge and became a Registered Environmental Health Specialist with the state of California. Erica has been a regular speaker and presenter for students of all ages advocating careers in science and the environment. Erica’s current area of focus is Sustainability.
Erica currently works as an Environmental Affairs Officer with the City of Los Angeles in the Office of Petroleum and Natural Gas Administration and Safety Board of Public Works. In this capacity, she is responsible for overseeing the Environmental Affairs and Community Engagement portion of the Office of Petroleum and Natural Gas Administration and Safety. Her primary work is community engagement and policy analysis related to oil and gas issues, liabilities related to thousands of improperly abandoned oil wells across the City, and numerous oil spills and volatile organic compound emissions from oil drill sites in South LA, West LA, and in Wilmington.
Before this she worked on sustainability (recycling, solar power, green energy, electric vehicle charging, green building, sustainable purchases, water conservation and energy conservation) and wildlife issues at the LAX/ the City of Los Angeles Department of Airports /Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). As part of LAX’s sustainability initiatives, she was responsible for green building initiatives and environmentally preferred products at LAX.
For more about Erica read this 2017 Fall Dukenvironment story.