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Student Profiles

Our students come to the Master of Environmental Studies program from many walks of life and educational professional backgrounds. Here, students describe how their passion for the environment led them to Penn; the ways that their experiences here have expanded their horizons and led them to jungles, tundras and the halls of legislative power; and the exciting careers they have planned once they complete their programs.

  • Concentration: Resource Management

    Education:

    Bachelor of Science, Biology, Haverford College; Master of Arts, Science Writing, Johns Hopkins University

    “I am entering the Master of Environmental Studies program from a career in science writing and journalism. I’m currently a science news officer at Penn, where I write about and promote the groundbreaking research of the University’s faculty and students. Prior to joining Penn, I worked for five years as a writer and editor at The Wildlife Society, a professional organization that supports the work and development of wildlife biologists and managers. While in that position, I rediscovered my passion for conservation, and the seeds were planted for taking this next step in my education.

    “My goal in the MES program is to obtain a solid grounding in the technical and practical foundations of environmental science and resource management, while building on my background in science and communication. With this training, I hope to graduate from Penn with the skills needed to be both a pragmatic and a visionary conservation practitioner.”

  • Concentration: Environmental Biology

    Education:

    Bachelor of Arts, Earth Science, University of Pennsylvania

    “I am a submatriculate into the Master of Environmental Studies program and I am currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Earth Science. I have been very involved with sustainability on campus over the last couple of years, as both a leader for the PennGreen Pre-Orientation Program and for Penn Environmental Group. My main interests are in sustainable agriculture and conservation biology. Now that I am a part of MES, I am excited to direct my focus on environmental biology and ecology!”

  • Concentration: Environmental Policy

    Education:

    Bachelor of Science, Biology, University of Liberia, Thomas J. R. Faulkner College of Science and Technology; Physician Assistant Diploma, John F. Kennedy Medical Center, Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts (Three-Year Program)

    “Prior to enrolling at Penn, I worked for seven years at both the district and community levels in post-war Liberia managing health and environmental programs. As a community medical staff member, I had the mandate to ensure the etiology of preventable diseases was addressed. My role focused on improving public health through the management of environmental compliance issues. These compliance issues included proper disposal of biological and non-biological wastes that had the potential to spread diseases in local communities, advocating environmental safety awareness through information and education campaigns, and promoting the participation and involvement of local authorities in environmental health decision making.

    The MES degree, with a concentration in Resource Management, will provide me with the necessary skills to tackle the environmental challenges within Liberia. Upon graduation from Penn, I will return to Liberia to assist in the development of sound policies, guidelines and environmental management systems that will protect our precious environment and provide for our people. I hope to lead research teams to conduct environmental impact assessments within my country and promote best environmental practices in conjunction with other Liberian ministries.”

  • Concentration: Resource Management

    Education:

    Bachelor of Arts, Pennsylvania State University

    “After studying international politics, geography and environmental science at Penn State, I worked for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania for four years. It was very rewarding to work in the public sector and I had great exposure to the real challenges and triumphs of state government. During my time in the governor’s office, I was able to assist with some major environmental policy and legislation initiatives, which ignited my desire to continue my education in environmental science. I am thrilled to be back in the academic world and will be focusing my studies on Resource Management, particularly as it relates to water.”

  • Concentration: Resource Management

    Education:

    Bachelor of Arts, Spanish and Business Administration, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, CUNY Brooklyn College

    “Before enrolling in the MES program, I spent five years living in Ecuador, where I finished my last two years of high school and completed two years of university-level studies. Throughout my academic career in South America, and later in New York City, I became interested in the fragility of, and human impact on, the natural world through a combination of classes and work opportunities. In Ecuador, I had the opportunity to spend six months volunteering at the Mindo/Nambillo ecological reserve—a butterfly farm in a cloud forest outside the capital, Quito. It was in Mindo that I became acutely aware of the complexities of managing such a species-rich environment, especially since a high-capacity crude oil pipeline traverses this particular area. After moving to New York City to finish my degree, I continued to take elective courses in areas such as environmental studies, oceanography and geology. In addition, I completed an internship with Greenpeace where I helped implement various national campaigns on a citywide level. Once I complete the MES program, I hope to apply my new skills at a Latin American NGO or other international conservation group that focuses on land, water and/or wildlife management.”

  • Concentration: Environmental Advocacy & Education

    Education:

    Bachelor of Science, Department of Material Science and Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan

    “Before entering the Master of Environmental Studies program at Penn, I worked as an analysis engineer in Taiwan. During this time, I was able to discover my true passion for the environment. I hope to continue to grow my interest in environmental science, by developing practical skills and acquiring knowledge that will make me a well-learned environmental scientist. The flexibility of the MES program will provide me with a broad foundation of skills to apply to my future professional career.”

  • Concentration: Environmental Biology

    Education:

    Bachelor of Arts, Biology, and Bachelor of Arts, Spanish, Bucknell University

    “Before enrolling at Penn, I worked to address environmental issues as a staff member for a non-profit organization, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and volunteered at the Jamaica Bay Terrapin Research and Conservation Group. Upon graduation from Penn, I would like to apply to a PhD program and eventually teach at the university level.”

  • Education:

    Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice, Villanova University

    “I've always had a concern for environmental issues. But it wasn’t until discovering the havoc these issues could wreak on the future that I decided to do something about it. It is because of this I find myself at Penn, studying environmental issues and learning how to spread the word about these problems to the general public. My ultimate goal is to bring awareness to these issues and effect change by whatever means possible. After graduating, I hope to work for a non-profit and eventually segue into teaching.”

  • Concentration: Environmental Sustainability

    Education:

    Bachelor/Master of Architecture, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    “Before joining the Master of Environmental Studies program at Penn, I worked for several years in Brazil in the accessibility and universal design space. The projects I worked on were very diverse—from big public spaces and private residences to more analytical consulting and accessibility assessments.

    "My interest in environmental studies and sustainability developed as an extension of my interest in socially conscious and responsible architecture and design. Additionally, my personal experience growing up in rural Brazil and witnessing so many changes within the country influenced my desire to learn more about sustainability. A MES degree will provide me with a critical understanding of environmentally conscious designs and architecture. Upon graduation, I would like to pursue design opportunities that focus on maintaining the health of the natural environment by using eco-conscious materials. Furthermore, I believe that this degree will allow me to expand my practice as a socially conscious architect who is committed to making architecture and public space accessible to all.”

  • Concentration: Resource Management

    Education:

    Bachelor of Arts, Biological Basis of Behavior, University of Pennsylvania

    “After completing an undergraduate degree in the Biological Basis of Behavior (biology/cognitive psychology), I started a career as a software developer, working on a variety of projects in the fields of medical imaging, auditory perception and music visualization. I was a principal in two software startups, wearing many hats ranging from software developer to marketer. Along the way my interest has returned to the natural world, including the role of human society in the shaping and behavior of ecosystems. A number of tracks in the Master of Environmental Studies program interest me, including Environmental Sustainability and Resource Management. I'm unsure of a particular career goal, other than to combine some fieldwork with developing solutions to interesting, pressing problems in today's society. I trust the broad range of opportunities available within the MES program to provide new insights and help my decision process.”

  • Concentration: Environmental Advocacy & Education

    Education:

    Bachelor of Sciences, Cinema and Photography, Ithaca College

    “Growing up beside a national forest, I was raised with an innate respect for the natural world and the need for its preservation. In addition, my experience working as the environmental director at a summer camp cemented my respect for the physical world, yet I never considered the possibility of turning this enthusiasm into a career. After graduation from college, I decided to travel to the south of Thailand to teach English as a Second Language. Working with people from a variety of age groups in a new and exciting environment quickly opened my eyes to my passion for teaching. I have decided to combine my love for teaching and lifelong interest in environmental issues. The Master of Environmental Studies program is the perfect fit. The flexible nature of the program will enable me to customize my academic experience at Penn to fill in gaps in my knowledge and experience.”

  • Concentration: Individualized

    Education:

    Bachelor of Science, Economics, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania

    “As a current undergraduate student at the Wharton School and a submatriculate into the MES program, I am interested in studying the intersection of business and the environment. My interest in this space led me to a summer internship working as a consultant/researcher at a clean technology company. I am especially interested in studying how large corporations are integrating sustainability platforms as a way to improve their bottom line. With the knowledge that I gain from the MES program, I hope to provide insight into strategic sustainable business decisions. I will be pursuing a dual concentration in both Environmental Policy and Sustainability, which will ultimately prepare me to solve problems in both the business and environmental policy arenas.”

  • Concentration: Environmental Policy

    Education:

    Bachelor of Arts, Rutgers University; JD, Vermont Law School

    “Prior to joining the Master of Environmental Studies program at Penn, I was a judicial law clerk. Currently, I am a practicing attorney in New Jersey. With an increasing demand for environmental litigation attorneys, I decided to pursue the Master of Environmental Studies degree as a supplement to my legal education. I found that by pursuing the MES degree I could not only open myself up to environmental legal opportunities but also policy-related positions. This program provides me with the ability to take courses in a broad array of areas such as environmental sustainability, resource management and environmental regulations. By being able to take a variety of environmental classes, I’m able to gain a wealth of knowledge about our changing environmental landscape. Upon graduating, I hope to apply what I learned in the MES program to a legal or policy-related position.”

Application Deadline: November 1st

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MES Information Session

Program Resources

Meet Program Director Yvette Bordeaux as she presents details about the Master of Environmental Studies program.

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