Ag Alumni Profile - Lauren Diebel '12 ERM

Posted: October 20, 2013

What is a recent graduate like Lauren Diebel ’12 ERM doing these days? She is an Environmental Technician at Dawood Engineering, Inc., with a lot of responsibility. Her degree and leadership experiences prepared her for the ever-changing environmental career path that it is today.
Lauren Diebel '12 ERM at Shenandoah National Park

Lauren Diebel '12 ERM at Shenandoah National Park

By Jena Sigel, Ag Alumni Relations Intern

Jena Sigel, Ag Alumni Relations Intern and Animal Sciences major, talked with Lauren Diebel ’12 Environmental Resource Management about her current career path with Dawood Engineering, Inc. From surveying turtle habitats to performing wetland delineations, she is responsible for permits for environmental causes focusing on the transportation and energy industries.

Career: Environmental Technician at Dawood Engineering, Inc.

1.    What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The technical knowledge needed for my position is the most challenging aspect. My job requires that I thoroughly understand various permitting processes for the transportation and natural gas industries and I also need to know the common and scientific names of a wide array of hydroponic plants in order to perform wetland delineations more efficiently.

2.    What has been the most rewarding part of your career?

The most rewarding part of my career is knowing that I’m protecting environmental resources from the impacts of Marcellus Shale drilling and construction projects. These activities can have major impacts on resources such as clean drinking water and wildlife habitat. I know that I’m doing my part to meet the client’s needs and uphold environmental regulations that protect our resources.

3.    What characteristics are needed to be successful in your career and field?

To be successful as an Environmental Technician for an engineering firm, it’s important to be knowledgeable on permitting procedures, environmental regulations, and the technical knowledge needed for wetland delineations or other specializations. Being flexible with your work schedule and having excellent communication skills are essential as well.

4.    What is your favorite creamery flavor?

That's easy....Death by Chocolate

5.    What advice would you give to current students?

For current students working towards an environmental career, I would tell them to gain as much field experience as possible. Whether it's a summer internship or a club activity, you can never have too much experience! I would also tell them to refine their communication skills; both written and oral. A large portion of my job is writing technical reports and presenting results to my supervisor, so it’s especially important to master those skills.

Diebel was a past Ag Advocate for the College of Agricultural Sciences and was the 2012 Ag Day Co-Chair, dedicating long hours to make the one day event go as planned. Taking her studies abroad, Diebel traveled to Ireland in 2011 with other Ag Advocates and learned about agricultural leadership there. She was also the Ag Student Council representative for The Wildlife Society. Starting at the Altoona commonwealth campus, Diebel held secretary and vice president positions in the Altoona Ag Club.

Outside of her career path, Diebel is applying for her Wetland Professional In Training (WPIT) certification through the Society of Wetland Scientists. She is also joining the Society of Women Environmental Professionals (SWEP).

For more information, contact Jena Sigel, Ag Alumni Relations Intern at