Environmental Studies Alumni

Jessica Schlader

Grants and Research Officer at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa

“As a grant writer it is my job to find support to put mission into action. While I may not always have the technical knowledge that our faculty and staff do on the front line, I work with them to develop our story, incorporating research and connecting needs to potential resources and solutions. Having developed a more holistic mindset and strong writing skills in college has helped me to do this for a variety of missions and projects.”

Jake Jungers

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota

“The ES program at UWO introduced me to the complex social elements that underlie humanity’s most critical environmental issues. The interdisciplinary experiences I gained as an ES student prepared me for my current research pursuit to develop new crops that are both more profitable for farmers and better for the environment.”

Dani Hatch

Natural Resources Education & Outreach Coordinator, Frisco, Texas

“One of the most beneficial skills I learned in the ES program at UWO is how to speak to both scientists and the average person. Our climate is changing and it’s so important that scientists educate everyday people on how their actions impact the Earth. I am so grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had to teach about plants, wildlife, sustainable living, and even outdoor recreation to people of all ages and backgrounds. The ES program is a community of passionate people who go on to spread their passion for natural resources with the world.”

Bridgette Weber

Owner of Singing Bowl Chef, local foods chef and wellness retreat organizer

“The ES program deepened my understanding of the possibilities that arise when we choose to see the whole picture. What arises are things like sustainable agriculture, CSA farms, potlucks, mutual aid networks, universal healthcare, libraries, non-profits, and the list goes on. It was clear to me that when I looked around at what was negatively impacting the environment, I saw the disconnection of people to their planet, the loss of the whole picture–and for me, the most frequent way to connect back to our planet, back to this wholeness, was to think about where our food comes from. I saw the huge ways in which food created ripples in our economy. Everything from the farming/environmental aspect, to the farmer’s markets social aspect, to fighting against the status quo. Now I use local food as an excuse to get people together to connect. It’s really all about that harmony that’s created through connection. I do this work because it is deeply gratifying to participate in the dance that is growing, eating, and sharing amazing food.”

Ryan Piedot

Sr. Manager of Environmental Compliance & Sustainability, Kohl’s

“I currently manage Kohl’s Environmental Compliance and Sustainability Department. My team is responsible to ensure we are meeting all Federal and State compliance requirements throughout our supply chain and operations. This includes waste management, property permitting, and transportation requirements. We are also responsible for setting and driving the strategic direction for Kohl’s Sustainability programming and elevating our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reputation.”

Melanie Leet

Conservation Technician, Winnebago County Land & Water Conservation Department

“I enjoy working on projects that help landowners and also protect and enhance our natural resources. I was really struggling in college to find a career that I was passionate about. As soon as I learned about the start of the Environmental Studies Program I immediately jumped on board and I was able to find a course of study that I enjoyed. The curriculum guided my focus and gave me the tools that I needed to get started in this field.”

Chris Ingram

Information Specialist, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

“My ES degree was fundamental in preparing me for the complex issues that we work on in wildlife management and conservation. Developing the ability to think and work collaboratively with other individuals, agencies and organizations as well as establishing a great deal of patience and persistence that is required to work on the issues at hand. There are no simple “one size fits all” solutions and nothing is completed overnight. I always reflect back on my coursework and affirm how important it was to be exposed to such a diversity of students and their backgrounds, their motivations, their ideas and the power of teamwork when it comes to designing and implementing solutions to environmental issues. It fostered within me a greater compassion and sensitivity for the work, my coworkers and our society in general.”

Melanie Kalmerton

Watershed Coordinator, Fond du Lac County Land and Water Conservation Department

“My career provides me with essentially everything I was looking for. I work with a small group of passionate and caring individuals. We collaborate with other departments and organizations on water quality & agricultural topics at the local, regional, and state level. I get to use soft science, hard science, computer analysis/modeling, psychology, research/literature review, as well as current statutes/regulations to guide our department’s work within specific watersheds, regional basins, and countywide. From a practical standpoint, this career provides me and my family with steady income, great benefits, and work life balance. I get the best of both worlds in that I work in an office setting but also am out of the office in the field a lot of the time.”

Peter Van Linn

Superintendent of Parks, City of St. Charles, Missouri

“I oversee the maintenance and operations of 24 City parks with over 800 acres of public green space. First, I do the work that I do for my children and other young people. This world is quite different from the one I grew up in, and I know my kids will not live in that world. However, if there is one thing from my childhood that I would prefer for my kids to experience, it would be the freedom and love to play in the outdoors without cause for concern or crises. The other main reason I do what I do is because I love it and I feel that the work I do provides a service and makes other peoples’ lives better. More and more research and experience shows us the importance of public green space for the well-being of individuals, communities, and ecosystems. I am confident that we will continue to learn more and more ways to utilize public green spaces to continue to enhance our lives and communities, and I look forward to being a part of that.”

Stephanie Peffer

Environmental Engineer, Oshkosh Corporation

“I love being able to work for a business and create environmental change within that business. You meet so many people who have a passion for the environment no matter what department they work in.”

Michelle Miller

Senior Sustainability and Product Stewardship Specialist at Appvion Operations, Inc.

“My time in the Environmental Studies program at UWO provided me with the discipline to view different environmental issues from varying perspectives which has been instrumental in developing and advancing sustainability programs. At the time, all the papers, reports, and presentations seemed like a lot but the various projects I completed were invaluable experiences that have helped me tremendously in my corporate positions. Also I took three internships before graduating and this was very helpful in getting my feet wet in the different possible career paths for environmental studies.”

Adam Romanak

Park & Natural Areas Manager, Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee

“I do natural areas management and land restoration, because seeing the land change from low quality to high quality is a lot of fun!! From prescribed burns, machinery operation, wildlife monitoring, and countless other opportunities natural areas management consists of, its just a great job or way of life!  Having a ES degree helped prepare for the future.  The ES program has a diverse course selection, which helped me choose my career direction/goals.”


Here is just a partial list:

  • Natural Resources Education & Outreach Coordinator, Frisco, Texas
  • Director of Winnebago Waterways, Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance
  • Agricultural Educator, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute, Michigan State University
  • Sustainability Manager, Oshkosh Corporation
  • Conservation Crew Leader. AmeriCorps, Montana
  • Conservation Technician. Wisconsin DNR
  • Content Specialist for Natural Resources. Montana State Library
  • Energy Efficiency Consultant. Franklin Energy, Denver
  • Conservation Technician. Winnebago County
  • Environmental Specialist. Environmental Services Department, ONYX
  • Environmental Science Officer, North Carolina National Guard
  • Environmental Technician, Western Lime Company
  • Farm Agent, Farm Service Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Juneau, Wisconsin
  • Lab Tech & Safety Officer, Food Safety Net Services
  • Environmental Educator, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park
  • Land Stewardship Coordinator, Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust
  • Natural Resource Specialist, US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Plant Technician, Cedar Creek Natural History Area, Minnesota
  • Recycling and Sustainability Coordinator, Habitat for Humanity of Springfield, Missouri
  • Senior Geologist and Crew Leader, Avalon Development Group, Alaska
  • Senior Environmental Health Specialist, Asbestos & Lead Program, Bureau of Environmental & Occupational Health, Wisconsin Division of Public Health
  • Silviculturist, US Forest Service
  • Superintendent of Parks, City of St. Charles, Missouri
  • Staff scientist. Environmental Products & Services of Vermont
  • Watershed Coordinator, Fond du Lac County Land and Water
  • Technical Service Specialist – Waste Water. Hydrite Chemical Co.
  • Wilderness-Backcountry Ranger, Washington DNR
  • Assistant Professor, Dept. of Agronomy and Plant Genetics
  • Sr. Manager of Environmental Compliance & Sustainability, Kohl’s
  • Information Specialist, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Senior Sustainability and Product Stewardship Specialist at Appvion Operations, Inc.

If you want to network with an ES Alum, contact ES Program Director Jim Feldman at feldmanj@uwosh.edu and he can put you in touch.

Environmental Studies

UW Oshkosh | Oshkosh Campus
835 High Ave. Oshkosh, WI
Sage 3003 and 3464

Jim Feldman, Director

Sage Hall 3451