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A View of the Real World…Graduation Series Continued

After speaking with Ella a few weeks ago (in the Ready or Not…Here it Comes blog), I thought it’d be helpful for recent graduates like myself to hear from an environmental studies graduate who’s been in the job market for a few years. This led me to Nathan Lamb, a friend as well as a participant in the Albemarle Ecological Field Site (AEFS) in the Fall of 2009.

Nathan graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies in 2009, and has since worked in sundry interesting environmentally-related jobs. During his time at AEFS, Nathan held an internship with the Nature Conservancy, where he maintained trails in Nags Head Woods and monitored water quality in the Alligator River. For Nathan, the field site that was made available through his environmental major (other majors can attend, but environmental majors are given preference) helped to refine his career path through the connections made in his internship.

In his own words, Nathan’s major exposed him to “policy, research, and field work,” and of those three, he is most intrigued by a combination of research and field work present in the work of stewardship of public natural areas.

After AEFS, Nathan worked with a civil engineering company that specialized in ecosystem restoration. While this is not something he wants to pursue for a career, Nathan was able to work outdoors and learn about the work (and politics) of civil engineering firms and the state.

This summer, Nathan has landed an internship with the Virginia office of the Nature Conservancy. The office, based in Charlottesville, VA, is responsible for monitoring conservation easements, invasive species, endangered species, as well as carrying out controlled burns in the Piedmont region of VA.

After the summer, Nathan will either continue his work with the Nature Conservancy or explore the world of horticulture in botanical gardens. He recently went to New York City to speak with people from the Brooklyn  Botanical Gardens and the Horticulture Society of NY, both of which have appealing opportunities for employment.

In his free time, Nathan builds and designs surfboards. At this very moment, he’s hiking the Appalachian Trail before making his way to Charlottesville.

Laura Stephenson is an environmental science major at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, focusing in environmental and community health.

Posted on: May 24, 2010, 1:21 pm Category: The Life of an Environmental Studies Student Tagged with: ,

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