Hear from our students about their experiences with classes, research and their aspirations for after graduation:
I am from Palm Coast, Florida and graduated with an Environmental Science BS with minors in Agricultural and Natural Resource Law and Sustainability Studies in Spring 2017. Because this SNRE is so interdisciplinary, I had the opportunity to take courses from various disciplines, from sciences to human dimensions. This diversified curriculum opened my eyes to the various mindsets and thought-processes in this world. I learned that I passionate about soils, water, and environmental education. The labs in these courses take you to places nearby where you get hands-on experience in the basics of data collecting and talk to professional across environmental fields. The SNRE staff has worked with me throughout the years as I have developed in my degree and provided me personalized guidance with every meeting.
With the diverse set of skills offered throughout the degree, I was able to get internships in land conservation, law, soil labs, sports sustainability, and research in renewable energy. Currently, I am a graduate student in Sustainable Development Practice and am able to use the knowledge and skills as an SNRE undergraduate to my future fieldwork and projects. I truly thank the staff at SNRE and would highly recommend the coursework.
Working with Dr. Stein on ecotourism research as an IFAS intern has been a great experience and has taught me so much about the research process. I've helped create surveys, contacted tourism professionals, distributed surveys in recreation areas in Florida, and will soon engage in data analysis. My primary project focuses on determining what kind of roles tourism operators in Collier County would like the extension service to perform, including new roles beyond traditional education. This experience has done a lot to help me grow academically and professionally and I am extremely grateful for it.
My name is Tyler. I'm from Saint Augustine, Florida, and a graduate of the School for Natural Resources & Environment. In May 2013, I received a degree in Environmental Science and was employed full-time by September 2013. I was brought on as an Efficiency Analyst for a private company who partnered with the Home Depot on a national basis to carry out home and business remodeling projects. My role at the company centered around increasing waste optimization for construction & demolition materials (C&D) taken out of homes or businesses. By increasing the company's level of recycling and consequently lowering the amount of C&D taken to the landfill, we were able to achieve cost savings of $150,000/yr within 6 months of my employment.
After a year had passed, I learned of a Governmental Analyst opening in the Governor's Office in the Environmental Policy Unit through my Academic Advisor. I then interviewed and accepted the position. I have since been promoted to a Senior Analyst. In this new role I research and evaluate environmental policy issues on a statewide basis. This allows me to call upon my schooling to a greater extent as I was primarily focused on recycling at my prior employer. During my time in the Governor's Office, I've worked with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection in crafting the Governor's annual recommended budget. I also evaluate potential impacts of bills filed each legislative Session.
I went into undergrad uncertain about whether I wanted to pursue journalism and writing or a natural science. I spent my first two years taking a lot of different courses to try to hone in on what I wanted to do. When I found the Environmental Science major in the SNRE, I was so excited because it allowed me to bridge the gap between all the fields I love! I took a ton of varied courses, ranging from conservation and policy to biology and creative writing. I received a full range of experience in the field and in the classroom that helped me pursue my own research and interests. I also got to experience really engaging research with the Mack Lab, I worked as an intern for Florida Organic Growers, I worked as an assistant in a law firm, and I had multiple farm internships across the US. I graduated with a B.S in Environmental Science, and I am currently traveling the US on a climbing road trip as I apply to jobs in the field, hopefully in the Boulder/Denver area.
I am now 21 months into my Peace Corps service in Zambia as a food security specialist. My work here is to promote conservation agriculture, agroforestry, and various income generating activities to community members where I live. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to gain experience in community-based environmental work and learn firsthand about the ways climate change, population growth and agricultural markets effect rural subsistence farmers in the developing world.
This past year and a half has given me a newfound appreciation for agricultural and environmental issues in the developing world. I’ve heard firsthand about the dramatic transformations farming practices here have undergone in the last 50 years. For example, just a generation ago families grew small plots of millet and sorghum using little to no chemical inputs and cultivated by hand/hoe. Now most everyone grows primarily maize, to be sold by the government, and desperately depend upon fertilizers, pesticides and government distributed seed. Climate change and population growth are tangible problems villagers experience and the consequent deforestation that occurs as people make charcoal and expand their fields and villages only compounds resource and sustainability issues.
Otherwise, I’m in the process of applying to masters programs starting in fall 2018 and am trying to imagine what the transition back to the states will be like after living in a Zambian village for two years.