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Taking My Passion into the Field

Posted: April 26, 2013

From the classroom to the stream, my Penn State College of Ag Sciences education has provided me with the knowledge and drive to succeed as an environmental scientist.

I am at the stage in my life where each new event seems like an adventure. Four years ago, I started at Penn State as an excited freshman, ready and eager to embark on my college journey. In what seems like a blink of an eye later, I have already completed four months in my first full-time position as an environmental scientist.

I would never have expected that my time at Penn State would have flown by so fast, and before I knew it, I’d be applying my four years of excellent education from the College of Ag Sciences at LandStudies as an Environmental Scientist.

Through excellent guidance and advising, I began my new career directly after my December graduation. While it is difficult to convey in words how my degree in Environmental Resource Management got me to where I am today, I know for certain that my Penn State education is an opportunity that I will value always. 

LandStudies is an ecological design-build firm, specializing in stream and floodplain restoration. Much of what the company does utilizes an innovative approach to dealing with environmental problems. LandStudies is a small company of dedicated employees, all whom share a passion for the environment and natural system. This may be why the company is such a great fit for me.

As an Ag Sciences student, I became passionately involved in what I was learning. My professors didn’t teach just to teach—they taught because they wanted to convey the same passion that they have for the environment with us, to encourage us to do all that we could as students and young professionals to protect their environment and apply our knowledge that we learn in the classroom to make a difference. Through numerous hands-on labs in the field, my professors always challenged me to think outside the box (or “outside the barn” as we like to say!) to come up with original solutions to real-world problems. This is what the environmental science field is all about! I am so grateful for the experiences I had in my hands-on labs, like the soil science lab in which we went to the Agronomy Farm to dig soil pits, or the fisheries lab where we electroshocked fish.

Now when I go into the field in my new position, I feel prepared and confident in my abilities. I have had the opportunity to delineate wetlands, survey streams and potential restoration sites, assess current stream conditions, measure cross sections of stream profiles and look forward to an upcoming week of field work in New York!

I enjoy every opportunity to get out of the office into the field, to apply the knowledge and skills that I gained from the College of Ag Sciences to make a difference for something I truly feel passionate about: the environment.

--Jess