I remember walking into Barney-Davis for my first time my freshman year. The old building was teeming with life as students bustled in and out of the green doors. It was a hot August day, and my Environmental Studies First Year Seminar class was ablaze with first year anxiety and nervousness. But, oddly enough, I was not anxious or nervous. I was intrigued and excited. I knew I wanted to study Environmental Studies, and this class would be the first among many during my four years at Denison. Since the first day of freshman year my sentiments have not changed. The ENVS Department has cultivated and developed my fascination for the environmental field and its extensive network of associated studies. Not only was I exposed to the intricacies of the field at Denison, but also during my abroad semester in the Czech Republic and internship experiences for the past two summers.
I am a senior Environmental Studies major with an Economics concentration. My passion is embedded in the Environmental field, but I wanted to explore other related fields of study. I finally landed on Economics during my sophomore year. Both the ENVS and Economics departments emphasized the importance of the coupled relationship between our natural environment and the economy. In one way or another, each class I have taken in both departments have touched on the correlational relationship. During my abroad semester in the Czech Republic I was once again instructed on the relationship between the economic prosperity and environmental degradation. My courses (at Denison and abroad) solidified my decision in choosing economics as my concentration.
My semester in Prague, Czech Republic, was an enlightening experience and exposed me to environmental issues that stretched the globe, in addition to issues localized in the central European region. Students were given the opportunity to travel to northern Bohemia to visit sites ravaged by the brown coal industry, which happens to be one of the Czech Republic’s main energy sources. Other environmental topics discussed were the overuse of plastic water bottles and the runoff pollution in the Vltava River.
My Denison education and abroad experience were instrumental to my summer internships in 2013 and 2014. I spent the summer of 2013 in San Francisco working for the small environmental consulting firm, Panorama Environmental, Inc. The firm specializes in NEPA and CEQA environmental reviews, resource and technical studies, permitting, and mitigation and monitoring. As an environmental analyst intern, I gained valuable experience in research and preparation of environmental documents and federal environmental policy. In the summer of 2014, I had the opportunity to work for URS Corporation in Germantown, MD. URS is well known for its wide breadth of services, ranging from infrastructure construction to emergency management. I worked for the Sustainability and Environmental Management Team as an environmental intern. My work involved compiling due diligence environmental compliance reports of scrap metal recycling facilities across the United States on behalf of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).
My experiences in the last three years have been truly invaluable. They will guide through my career development process that will take place over the next six months of my senior year. I am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges the future holds and know that Denison and the Environmental Studies Program have equipped me for those endeavors.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson