What is your previous work experience?
"My first ""real"" job was working as a watershed coordinator with an organization called the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring as a student at Dickinson College. It was there that I first experienced environmental education, water monitoring, and how natural resource extraction affects water resources.
After graduating in 2013 with a degree in Environmental Science, I served as an Environmental Conservation and Education Specialist with the Peace Corps in Paraguay. My work focused on trash management, organic gardening, reforestation, and environmental themed camps/holidays with students in my local schools.
Shortly after returning home last year, I worked as a park guide with the National Park Service at Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California. I worked in visitor centers, created and led educational programs for visitors, and assisted with environmental education groups. I am excited to continue my academic and professional career in Durham and to return to my long time goal of working in water resources!"
Why did you choose the Nicholas School?
The Nicholas School and its academics impressed me from the very beginning. I started looking into graduate school programs shortly after returning home from Paraguay and the Nicholas School was one of the first that I started to consider. I loved the structure of the programs and the way you seemed able to tailor it to be what you want, along with guidance from the concentrations and advisors. I looked into other research institutions, but I preferred the professional focus at the Nicholas School, rather than the solely research driven degrees. The professors and advisers were incredibly responsive, particularly the head of the water resources management concentration! Martin Doyle responded personally to my initial email, which was quite different from the lack of personal responses I received from other universities. After visiting, I could feel and see the dedication from the professors and the all the staff at the Nicolas School. Lastly, their financial resources and the scholarships from the Nicholas Scholars program truly made it the only practical choice for me.
Do you have any areas of interest or special focus you will undertake during your time at the Nicholas School?
I am hoping to pursue at least one additional certificate and am excited by the Geospatial Analysis Certificate Program in particular. I am interested in water management and using both technology and field based efforts to better manage water resources across different industries.
What are you looking forward to as a new Nicholas School student?
I am looking forward to being a student again, to being surrounded by passionate people, to being pushed and challenged, and to making a whole new network of friends, peers, and mentors! I am excited to explore Durham, and North Carolina in general, as well as delving into its environmental and water related resources.
What future plans do you have for your career after the Nicholas School?
After the Nicholas School I plan to pursue a career in water/watershed management at a local level, by working with diverse stakeholders and industries. I hope to use my education to better manage and monitor aquatic resources across a given area, and to work for either local or state governments, consulting firms or businesses, or riverkeeper/watershed networks.
I truly cannot express my gratitude enough to the Nicholas Scholarship Fund and the Christensen Scholarship. The Nicholas School was my dream school and this scholarship program turned my dream into a reality. I do not know if I would be attending the Nicholas School without the financial assistance that I received, and I am so grateful to pursue my academic and professional goals here!