What is your previous work experience?
While in undergrad I worked for the National Park Service collecting data on maritime Holly forests on the East coast. After graduating I joined the Peace Corps and served in Tanzania, East Africa teaching high school Biology and Chemistry for two years and then extended for 5 months to develop a greenhouse growing program at a small non-profit run orphanage. While in Tanzania I developed a science and math conference for my students and other schools in the area to better engage students, especially girls, in those subjects. Upon returning to the US I worked for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute leading a survey of 65 acres of forest in western Virginia as part of the ForestGEO project. I most recently finished a survey in the Mojave Desert with The Great Basin Institute collecting ecological monitoring and rangeland data. This data is used by the BLM to make rangeland management decisions.
Why did you choose the Nicholas School?
I chose the Nicholas School because it is a leading institution in environmental science, and I knew it would be the best situation for me. The ability to get a degree in environmental management and also forestry in such a short amount of time was very important to me. The interdisciplinary nature of the MEM degree also allows me to focus on environmental science while gaining knowledge in other areas like policy and management. The faculty at the Nicholas school were also a huge draw as they are leaders in their respective fields. They were open and receptive to me during the application process and were very encouraging of my career goals.
Do you have any areas of interest or special focus you will undertake during your time at the Nicholas School?
I am excited for the opportunity to refine my skills in Geospatial Analysis as this is a very useful tool in environmental management and conservation. I am also looking forward to learning more about the timber industry and how it can benefit communities and small stakeholders.
What are you looking forward to as a new Nicholas School student?
I'm looking forward to working with other students and the faculty on tackling some of the major environmental issues we are facing today. I think that the collaboration the Nicholas School encourages is extremely important in finding solutions. I am also excited for the opportunity to get certificates in Geospatial Analysis and Community-Based Environmental Management as these two skills directly relate to the work I want to do in the future.
What future plans do you have for your career after the Nicholas School?
I want to work with communities to conserve and protect their natural resources but at the same time make sure that they are also benefiting from those resources. This could be as a land steward with a land trust or conservancy or within the federal or state government natural resources departments. I want to engage people with their local resources and educate them on the importance of continued sustainable stewardship.
Forest conservation, Land Trust/Conservancies, Natural Resource Management, Geospatial Analysis