What is your previous work experience?
My first job out of college was teaching 8th grade science in Memphis, TN, and for five years, I taught a wide variety of subjects, from electromagnetism to ecology to coding. Afterwards, I moved with my wife to St. Louis, where I worked for the Missouri Botanical Garden’s sustainability department. I taught classes on solid waste and stormwater and coordinated efforts at K-12 schools, universities, and community organizations to reduce waste and put tools in the hands of students and community members to reach their sustainability goals.
I am in the dual-degree Master of Public Policy-MEM program and so for the past year, while studying at Sanford, I worked for the Center for Advanced Hindsight as a research assistant in behavioral science. Most recently, I spent the summer interning with International Paper on a project to map trends in water regulation and pricing to help the company become more proactive when it comes to water stewardship.
Why did you choose the Nicholas School?
The opportunity to combine both a policy degree and the MEM drew me to Duke in the first place, but hearing from Nicholas alumni and faculty as soon as I was accepted sealed the deal.
I really appreciated the variety of concentrations the Nicholas school had to offer, and was especially excited by the focus on water. Most of the time, discussions about water focus on water scarcity, and in the US that means the West-- that's an important discussion, but it's only part of the story. At Nicholas, I was attracted by how faculty and students are researching water in a holistic way, and looking at how pricing, resilience, and water as a system fit together.
Do you have any areas of interest or special focus you will undertake during your time at the Nicholas School?
There are too many to choose! Water is my focus, and I’m primarily interested in state and local water management and how we pay for and value water, and how that might change in the near future. I'm also interested in the Geospatial Analysis Certificate Program.
What are you looking forward to as a new Nicholas School student?
I’m excited to be surrounded by so many interesting, passionate, and knowledgeable people who have a wide variety of experiences and understanding of some of the biggest issues facing our planet today. I was able to take a class at Nicholas last year, and got a brief preview of how great Nicholas students are, and am looking forward to more! I’m also looking forward to improving my technical skills, especially GIS.
What future plans do you have for your career after the Nicholas School?
I am interested in working in water policy, management, or resilience at the state and local level. I am very interested in working for a government body that is moving towards treating all forms of water-- wastewater, stormwater, drinking water-- as a single entity, and finding ways to provide safe, clean water equitably while still accurately capturing water’s true value.
Water Resource Management; Sustainability; One Water