ES alumni: let us know what you are up to! Send additions and changes to Jim Feldman, email@example.com. Also, many alums are on Facebook. Check the UWO ES Facebook page and the friends on Jim Feldman's Facebook page.
Ryan Piedot (June '05, ES & Economics double major) took part in an internship with the City of Muskego Conservation Department following graduation from UWO. During the internship, Ryan helped assist with wetland restoration, prairie restoration, invasive species control, wetland/lake management, tree plantings, Osprey rehabilitation projects, and nature trail maintainance. Upon completing the internship with the City of Muskego, Ryan took a job as an Environmental Consultant with Clean Harbors Environmental Services. While at Clean Harbors, he helped to ensure companies managed and disposed of their solid and hazardous waste accordingly while complying with federal and state environmental regulations. After Clean Harbors, he joined Kohls Department Stores where he helps to manage the solid/hazardous waste and Environmental Compliance programs at 1200 locations across the U.S. Ryan helps to develop reuse/recycling programs versus landfill disposal to help reduce Kohls' environmental footprint and divert waste out of the landfills. He also helps to ensure Kohls is in compliance with federal and state environmental regulations related to waste management, supply chain processes, and building related activities. Of his experience with the UWO Environmental Studies program, Ryan writes, "The ES program at UWO proved to be invaluable to my career path. The environmental stewardship values and course work have helped me to develop programs and methodologies to encourage long-term sustainability goals and practices. Without the dedication and leadership from the UWO and ES staff, I would not be where I am today."
James DeDecker (May '09, ES & Anthropology double major) After graduation from UWO, James entered the Crop Sciences Masters Program at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. "The intersection of my two undergraduate majors, as well as experience with UWO Community Garden, convinced me of the opportunity to reconcile the relationship between nature and culture through sustainable agriculture." In August '09 he began work with Dr. John B. Masiunas investigating alternative vegetable crop production systems, with focus on brassica cover crops for weed control. His activities as a graduate student include coursework, co-management of field research and teaching as a T.A. for Horticulture 105: Vegetable gardening. James is also completing a thesis project aimed at identifying factors that influence the selection of weed management practices among organic growers in the Midwest U.S. in order to improve organic weed management outreach. “I entered graduate school at a research institution with the unconventional goal of learning to farm. I have gained a lot of practical skill, but also invaluable experience as a scientist that will forever inform my approach to agriculture.” James’ wife Lucy has joined him on this agricultural journey. In 2012 she will begin her third year as farm hand on a small organic vegetable and livestock CSA farm. Upon James’ graduation in May 2012, he and his wife plan to farm together where Lucy is currently employed while they look for a permanent farming situation at home in Wisconsin. “The thoughtful liberal arts education I received in the ES program equipped me to address environmental issues in a critical and practical manner. My career is an expression of my skills, passion and values.”
Deanna Engelmann (Jan '09, BBA in Economics & ES minor). "Upon graduating at the peak of the country's 'Great Recession' finding a suitable job took patience and persistence." Deanna received her big break when she was offered an internship through the Student Conservation Association (SCA) working for the Umatilla National Forest in Walla Walla, Washington. Her job was to create an environmental education and outreach program for the forest. After a year and a half of building and managing the program, Deanna was offered an opportunity more suited to her personal and professional interests. Since May 2011, she has been a Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) Forestry Technician in the Silviculture department on the Umatilla. The position allows her to work in the field seasonally and attend classes over the school year in preparation for a permanent, full-time Forester position upon graduation. Deanna will be starting Oregon State University's Natural Resources Graduate Program in the fall of 2012. Of her experiences with the ES program Deanna writes, "I would not be where I am today without the guidance, leadership, and passion of the UWO faculty, specifically from the ES department. My experiences there were both memorable and influential, and I am grateful for the role they played in molding my desire to pursue a fulfilling, meaningful career in natural resources."
Curt Hendricks (June '08, ES & Geography minor) found his dream job right out of college. He is currently a Natural Resources Specialist for the US Army Corps of Engineers working on Lake Barkley in Grand Rivers, Kentucky. Shoreline management is Curt's specialty and his duties consist of meeting with new and current waterfront landowners, issuing licences and permits, reinspecting properties, doing land and boat patrol and writing citations when necessary. This being said, different seasons bring new responsibilities to the job. Of his job Curt says, "Overall, I love my job and cannot imagine doing anything else."
Peter VanLinn (Jan '06, ES & Biology minor) Peter took positions with the Wisconsin DNR, Americorps, and the United States Geological Survey after graduating from UWO, and went on to earn a Masters in Environmental Science from University of Nevada-Las Vegas. He is currently working as the Park Ecologist in Forest Park in St. Louis, MO. "Forest Park is a 1300+ acre park in the heart of St. Louis' metropolitan area that deals with many of the problems related to managing natural areas in an urban setting. More specifically, I manage two Natural Reserve Stewards and our goal is to restore, maintain, and sustain more than 150 acres of natural reserves within Forest Park." Some of Peter's regular duties include: Preparing management plans for future projects, removing invasive species, speaking to the public at various organizational meetings and conducting water quality assessments. Of his experience with the program, Peter writes, "The most beneficial part of the UWO ES program for me was the ability to construct my study program in a way that best served for future career goals. The interdisciplinary nature of the program allowed me to match my ES major with my biology minor so that I could focus on coursework in each of those departments that I felt were going to be most important for my career in the environmental sciences."
Nicole DeKeuster (Jan '06, ES & Political Science double major) completed internships at UWO with SEAC and Earth Charter and chose a career working with environmental nonprofits. She is currently the Administrative Coordinator for the Butte des Morts Conservation and works to conserve, preserve, and restore nearly 1200 acres along Lake Butte des Morts known as Terrell's Island. More information on the Club can be found at www.bdmcc.org. "The Environmental Studies program gave me the ability to understand the science and biology of wetland restoration while being sensitive to the cultural, ethical, and political landscape which surrounds us as well. Education is ongoing in any field, but with the foundation that was laid by this program I have been able to successfully work with a diverse group of interests on the restoration of Terrell's Island. Your education is what you make it. If you have a passion for a particular area take the reigns and don't be afraid to make your own internships if you don't see one available that suits you. You truly never know where your contacts in such endeavors will lead and the experience itself is invaluable"