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From Here To Career

The undergraduate and graduate majors we offer in Environment and Society will prepare students for a wide range of interesting careers with private, non-profit, or government employers. Here are just a few examples of students who graduated with degrees from our department and have gone on to make a difference in the world. To learn more about each of these ENVS alumni and the paths they've followed since graduation, click on the individual's name.

Laura Ault

Degree: MS, Bioregional Planning (2005)

Current Position: Sovereign Lands Program Manager, Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands

Laura has been working as a program manager for the Sovereign Lands program in the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, which manages Utah's sovereign lands or those lands found to be navigable at statehood. The Division manages these lands for the Public Trust using multiple-use sustained yield principles. Currently, the program oversees 1.5 million acres and more than 2,200 miles of shoreline. These lands include Great Salt Lake, Utah Lake, the Utah portion of Bear Lake, the Jordan River and parts of the Bear, Colorado and Green rivers. Management activities include comprehensive management planning, leasing, invasive species mitigation and research grant funding.

Dusty Vaughn

Graduated: MS, Recreation Resource Management (2011)

Current Position: Recreation Specialist Stanislaus National Forest USDA Forest Service Groveland, CA

Dusty graduated from USU in 2011 with an M.S. in Recreation Resource Management. Currently he is working as a Recreation Specialist for the USDA Forest Service (Groveland Ranger District) in the Stanislaus National Forest. The main goal of his job is to inspire sustainable recreational use of the forest. Some of his duties include the following: develop and maintain recreation opportunities across the Ranger District which includes supervising recreation crews (river patrol, off highway vehicle patrol, lake patrol, campground hosts, and Youth Conservation Corp), recruit and manage volunteers for a wide variety of projects and programs, develop budgets and projects through grants and partnerships, provide input to environmental assessments for projects on their impacts to recreation resources and opportunities, enforce regulations, assist with education and interpretive programs and serve as a firefighter and on Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Teams as needed.

Last year the Rim Fire started on the Ranger District and eventually spread out to encompass over 400 square miles of federal and private land. During the fire Dusty's staff joined engines and hand crews, evacuated recreation sites ahead of the flames, helped direct arriving crews and resources to their assigned areas, staffed road closures for public and firefighter safety, and kept the community aware of what was happening. Dusty served as the Recreation Lead on the BAER Team as damage was assessed to the recreation resources and implemented emergency treatments to protect life and infrastructure. Dusty has organized several volunteer projects to repair and clean-up sites in order to reopen for public use such as removing hazard trees in campgrounds and relocating fallen trees from navigable rapids on the Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River for rafters and kayakers. He is currently working with the Rim Fire Recovery Team to develop partnerships and secure funding to replace recreation infrastructure that was lost during the fire (things such as signs, restrooms, picnic tables, etc).

Hesper Kohler

Degree: BS Environmental Studies (2013)

Current Position: Sea Sampler/Second Biologist International Pacific Halibut Commission Seattle, WA/Alaskan Gulf

Hesper completed a summer internship last summer with the International Pacific Halibut Commission, and was hired to work for them this year as a seasonal employee, working on their summer survey as a Sea Sampler and a Second Biologist. Hesper works on a fishing vessels in the Alaskan Gulf where her main responsibilities are to sample fish that are caught. She samples the length, sex, age, maturity, and prior hook injuries from the halibut, and records the length and sex of dogfish, as well as records and edits data and deploys water profilers. The halibut data that is aquired is used by the commission to provide recommendations to US and Canadian officials in creating the next year's quota allowance.

Jordan Behunin

Degree: BS, Recreation Resource Management (2011)

Current Position: GIS Specialist, Price, Carbon County, UT

In 2011 Jordan completed a Bachelors degree in Recreation Resource Management, with a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). While pursing his degree, Jordan worked as a seasonal Recreation Technician for the US Forest Service (Pine Valley Ranger District) during the summers in-between school and for a season after graduation. In April 2012, he started working as a GIS Specialist for Carbon County. Jordan's responsibilities include creating customized maps for the public and county departments, gathering data using survey grade GPS, training public and county departments on GIS related resources, maintaining a GIS website and web services, as well as serving as chair of the Castle Country Trails Committee. Jordan has been able to apply the knowledge he gained from the Recreation Resource Management and GIS courses that he took from USU, to complete many trail related projects in the county. Jordan is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in public GIS Management, from Salisbury University in Maryland.

Katie Davis Henderson

Degree: MS, Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management (2009)

Current Position: ORISE Research Fellow U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Washington, D.C.

Katie is currently working for the Environmental Protection Agency in the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water as an ORISE Research Fellow. In this position Katie does research and other activities to support the implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, particularly to help state programs enhance sustainability and climate resilience of drinking water utilities. She researches state sustainability policies and laws, compiles and analyzes data on different drinking water related topics, helps write and review publications, develops communications materials, plans conferences, conducts trainings, and hosts discussions. Currently she is helping plan the 40th anniversary celebration of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Sam Powell

Degree: BS, Environmental Studies (2013)

Current Position: General Manager YESCO Dallas, TX

Sam graduate in 2013 with a Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies. Upon graduation Sam was hired as the manager of YESCO in Dallas, TX, a branch of the Utah born company which manufactures, installs, and repairs electric signs. As manager, his responsibilities include overseeing and leading a team of technicians, sales and support staff; as well as inside and outside sales. He has found success selling and coordinating energy efficient LED retrofits for signs and other lighting. He has tried to focus on integrating the interpersonal and interpretive skills he learned in the classroom into his customer support and business leadership.

Jordy Guth

Degree: MS, Bioregional Planning (2009)

Current Position: Architect and Planner, Utah State University

Jordy received a Bachelor’s of Architecture from the University of Idaho in 1994. She was an intern for several architectural firms in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho before earning her license to practice architecture in 1999. In 2001, Jordy moved to Logan, Utah with her family and has been an employee at USU for the last 11 years. Her work at the university focuses on building design, master planning and sustainability. In 2005, she decided to pursue a Master's degree in Bioregional Planning. This interdisciplinary program is designed to help planners integrate human and natural systems for the development of sustainable communities. Her thesis work, partially funded by the Utah Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, was focused on creating a planning tool to help small communities in Utah identify and protect valued aspects of their unique rural character.

Seth Cook

Degree: MS, Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management (2012)

Current Position: Director of Land Conservation Pee Dee Land Trust Florence, SC

Seth graduated from the Department of Environment & Society with an M.S. in Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management, in 2012. Since graduating, Seth has gone one to work as the Director of Land Conservation for the Pee Dee Land Trust in Florence, SC. The Pee Dee Land Trust (PDLT) works to conserve and to promote an appreciation of the significant natural, agricultural, and historical resources of the Pee Dee Region in South Carolina. Seth is responsible for overseeing and managing all aspects of the conservation easements, property, donations, and property transactions including developing strategies for landowner contacts, negotiating easements and land acquisition projects, and long-term monitoring of easements. he currently stewards 52 easements to total over 17,400 acres and is working to develop and implement a strategic approach to identify and target high priority focus areas for conservation.

Jamie Clark Brand

Degree: MS, Geography (2013)

Current Position: Historic Preservation Outreach Coordinator Colorado State University Layton, UT

Jamie graduated with a Masters in Geography in 2013. Since graduation she has been hired to work as a Historic Preservation Outreach Coordinator for the Cultural Resources Management Team at Hill Air Force Base through the Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) at Colorado State University. This position is as a contractor at Hill Air Force Base where she works on tribal relations. She is responsible for working as a liaison between 21 tribes in the West and the Department of Defense. This requires that she organize and manage the Annual American Indian Meeting for Hill Air Force Base, Army Dugway Proving Ground, and Utah National Guard. She also works as the Cultural Resource Management Team Records Manager and as the Cultural Resources Education Outreach Team Lead.

Katlin Eyre

Degree: BS, Recreation Resource Management (2012)

Current Position: Manager at Cornucopia Lodge and Wilderness Horse Camp Cornucopia, Oregon

Katlin graduated from the Environment & Society Department with a BS in Recreation Resource Management in 2012. After Graduation Katlin went back to work at her family's business in Northeast Oregon. She is currently the manager for Cornucopia Lodge and Wilderness horse Camp, as well as a guide in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Her duties include leading wilderness pack trips, assisting area visitors, managing employees, hiring, delegating, advertising, and working with various federal agencies in the United States Forest Service.

Emily Morgan Malik

Degree: BS, Environmental Studies (2001)

Current Position: Conservation Coordinator, Logan City, Logan, UT

Emily currently works for the City of Logan where she coordinates the energy conservation programs for Logan City Light and Power as well as for the Renewable Energy and Conservation Advisory Board. She also teaches environmental restoration to the public for the environmental department. This includes giving tours and classroom presentations about recycling and the landfill. Emily is also the vice president of the Utah Recycling Alliance.

Jascha Zeitlin

Degree: MS, Recreation Resource Management (2009)

Current Position: Natural Resources Specialist Payette National Forest

Shortly after graduation (in 2009) Jascha went to work for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest as a Natural Resources Specialist (Recreation) in Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. Jascha has recently accepted a new position as a Natural Resource Specialist (Recreation), for the West Zone (Weiser and Council Ranger Districts) in Payette National Forest. He will be running recreation operations on the district which includes performing maintenance tasks, hiring and supervising seasonal employees and volunteers, overseeing the district recreation budget and tracking expenditures, contacting and assisting visitors, writing recreation portions of environmental documents; fighting wildfires, and many other tasks as necessary.

Graduated: B.S., Geography (2011) MS, Bioregional Planning (2013)

Current Position: Environmental Planner for Transcon Environmental, Sandy, UT

Tyler graduated from the Bioregional Planning program in Spring 2013. He is currently working in Sandy, Utah for Transcon Environmental as an Environmental Planner where he works mostly with large utility corridor projects. His job duties are mostly GIS-related, maintaining the company database of shapefiles and communicating with individuals in the field.

Tyler Allen

Andree Walker Bravo

Graduated: BS, Environmental Studies (2002

Current Position: Executive Director for the Utah Society of Environmental Education, SLC, UT

Andree currently works as the Executive Director for the Utah Society for Environmental Education in SLC, UT. In this position she is responsible for managing and overseeing the Environmental Education programs in Utah and works to enhance USEE project offerings and community collaborations.