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Salisbury University BW
A Maryland University of National Distinction
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Environmental Studies
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ENVR Alumni

Ryan Tant

Ryan TantI have been in a service term with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa, a program within AmeriCorps, stationed out of Ames, Iowa. What this position entails is a lot of hard work with heavy power tools that can be very dangerous if not careful. A lot of our time is spent doing invasive species plant removal in prairie and oak/hickory savannah restorations. This can range from felling large stands of Siberian elm, a tree species that invades prairies, to allow for the re-establishment of oaks; brush cutting invasive honeysuckle and multiflora rose in order to reestablish a prairie ecosystem; and my personal favorite, controlled burns to help re-establish the native habitat.

This position is great for anyone who wants to travel - I have already traveled to four new states and am headed to Kansas next. I strongly recommend a Conservation Corps or AmeriCorps service position to anyone interested in learning conservation practices! 

Neal Eshleman

Neal EshlemanI'm working at Versar, an environmental consultant agency out of Columbia, Md. My job consists of a lot of field work, habitat assessments in river systems, storm water runoff testing, benthic sampling in the spring (I did over 100 sites in two months), geomorphic surveying of streams and stream cross sections, fish shocking, and the occasional extra cool project I manage to be a part of, like a sturgeon project. I have a few projects of my own which include all field work, data entry and analysis, and report writing. I also put in for a month deployment through my company in the Gulf Coast doing oyster and wetland monitoring and restoration following the BP oil spill.

The best part so far? I went out with another specialist on the Delaware River near Philadelphia and worked with a commercial fishing trawler out of New Jersey. We ran side scan SONAR catching, tagging, and relocating Atlantic and short-nosed sturgeon. We took them upriver ten, 20, and 30 miles from a proposed blast/dredging area in the channel to see if/what the time frame is for them to move back downriver. The larger sturgeon we caught were all short-nosed and most of the young ones, which measured from 8-12 inches in length, were Atlantic. I think we caught 88 in the thirteen days we were out there. Pretty wild!

Jillian Parisi

Jillian ParisiWhen I graduated from Salisbury University with a BA in Environmental Studies and a minor in Biology in the spring of 2013, I joined the non-profit the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) as their oyster hatchery's seed and shell sales representative.

The ORP's main goal is to restore the water quality and aquatic life of the Chesapeake Bay by planting oysters. We do this by obtaining oyster larvae produced by the University of Maryland's Horn Point Laboratory and recycling oyster shells from restaurants and shucking houses. The recycled shells are used as substrate for the larvae to attach to and grow. The larvae attached to shell are put into sanctuaries and tributaries in the Bay and over five billion oysters have been planted so far.

As of September 2013 I've become the coordinator of ORP's Remote Setting Program. With this program I am able to teach people how to grow oysters cost-effectively and sell them to make a profit. I love being able to help people start their own business while also cleaning up the Bay; with the help of the Environmental Studies department at Salisbury University, I was able to find an awesome job right out of school!

Frannie Lawrence

Frannie Lawrence and foal 

Frannie Lawrence and Lola the baby goat

I graduated from SU in 2009 with an Environmental Issues degree and a Chemistry minor. After taking a couple years to travel, I was hired as the livestock manager at Mount Pleasant Plantation, a privately owned historic plantation on Virginia’s James River.

As the livestock manager, I have been tasked with both the short term and long term care of all of the animals here. This includes the family’s pets such as horses and goats, as well as historically relevant livestock such as sheep, cattle, and chickens. We work closely with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, which identifies critically endangered livestock. All of the animals bred at Mount Pleasant, including Leicester Longwool sheep, Hog Island sheep, American Milking Devon cattle, and Dominique chickens, are both historically accurate to what would have been on the property in 1800, as well as in severe danger of disappearing forever from the farms of this world.

We are currently expanding our program to include produce and other goods. Fellow ENVR graduate Dea Keen has been hired to run our organic kitchen garden, we are moving into beekeeping, and we are looking at acquiring swine. My time with the Environmental Studies department at SU, as well as my internship at Greenbranch Farm, undoubtedly contributed tremendously to the knowledge and skill set that I use daily here running the farm.

Alicia Kelch

Alicia KelchAfter graduating from Salisbury with an Environmental Studies and Philosophy degree in 2013, I was hired as a teacher/naturalist at the Echo Hill Outdoor School in Worton, Md. The school is a residential outdoor education program that provides students with an opportunity to explore their environment hands-on by using the outdoor environment as our classroom. Echo Hill's location - situated on the Chesapeake Bay with a beach front, forests, and freshwater marshes - makes our program unique and allows us to explore a variety of ecosystems. Students may stay at the program anywhere from one to five days and take part in classes that include Chesapeake Bay studies on our boats the Spirit and the Twilight, swamp walks, canoeing, garbology, ecology, seeds and weeds, early American studies, as well as our high and low adventure courses. My time with the Environmental Studies department provided me with knowledge and experience for this new journey in outdoor education.

Kerry Brennan

Kerry BrennanI graduated from SU in December of 2012 with degrees in Environmental Studies and Spanish. The following month, I began an internship with Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN), a non-profit organization engaged in research, development of resources, advocacy for migrants and clinicians, trainings for providers, and most importantly, being a force for health justice for the mobile poor. I felt fortunate to be part of an organization whose mission fit perfectly with what I had studied and what I felt passionate about, and was so excited when they offered me a full-time position as an Environmental and Occupational Health Program Associate.

MCN is based out of Texas, but has satellite offices in California, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The specific focus of the Maryland office is Environmental/Occupational Health for migrant workers - the vast majority being Hispanic, agricultural workers. I’m currently involved in projects such as marketing safety trainings to farmers, compiling EPA reports for grant funding, keeping track of our technical assistance/ to outside organizations, and finding ways to network with similar organizations through social media. 

SU’s well-rounded Environmental Studies program showed me a variety of ways to apply my passion for the environment to the work world.  I’m so grateful to have been part of a program that prepared me for what I consider to be truly meaningful work.

Alyssa Burkot

Alyssa Burkot with rain barrel

I graduated in May 2013 with a BA in International Relations and minors in Environmental Studies, Conflict & Analysis and History.

I joined the Energy Corps and recently began an internship with the Energy Coordinating Agency in Philadelphia. I'm helping to plan and execute a regional energy conference, and also organize and conduct weatherization workshops for community members. 


Danielle Hart

Danielle HartAfter graduating Salisbury in December 2012 with degrees in Marketing and Environmental Studies, I moved back to Baltimore, Md. I’m now an account manager for The Engage Group, a small agency that specializes in online fundraising for nonprofits, and an account manager for MailSmart Logistics, a small logistics company that specializes in drop shipping and commingling direct mail for nonprofit and commercial clients. At The Engage Group I have the privilege of working with environmental nonprofits such as Defenders of Wildlife, The Wilderness Society, and The National Audubon Society to make their online fundraising efforts successful.

In my spare time, I volunteer for the Direct Marketing Association of Washington Educational Foundation (DMAWEF), where I’ve recently pioneered a Student Ambassador Program to help introduce students in the MidAtlantic region to the Direct Marketing industry in order to help them find jobs in the industry after college. I’m also an active member in the United Way of Central Maryland’s Emerging Leaders organization, where I volunteer my time to help with projects in the community as well as help raise money for the Run United endeavor. Within the next five years I plan to go back to school for a MBA in sustainability.

Courtney Owen

Courtney OwenI graduated from Salisbury University in 2011 with a B.A. in International Relations and Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution with an emphasis on Middle East Affairs. So you might wonder, why am I featured on the ENVR Alumni page? I needed a final science credit to graduate and I decided to take the ENVR 102 course, Introduction to Sustainability, which made me fall in love with the environment all over again.

After I graduated, I started working at Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region as an environmental educator. I continued to pursue environmental studies in my graduate degree at American University and the United Nations’ University for Peace while working. I graduated in May 2014 with an M.A. in International Environmental Affairs and an M.A. in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development. During my graduate studies, part of the program requires you to go to Costa Rica at the University of Peace for one full year of field studies and courses — a once in a lifetime experience learning about conservation! I finished my graduate program with a published thesis on a case study of environmental peace-building using water in Israel and the Palestinian West Bank. I was given the honor of presenting my work at an International Peace Research Association Conference in Turkey.

Are you an ENVR alum? We'd love to hear from you and where you are now - please send us an update using the form below! 
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