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Environmental Studies
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ENVR Alumni

Ryan Tant

Ryan Tant  Over the past 2 months I 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 specie plant removal in Prairie and    Oak/Hickory Savannah restorations. This can range from felling large stands of Siberian Elm,  a tree specie that invades Prairies, to allow for the re-establishment of Oaks; brush cutting  Honey Suckle 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 4 new states and am headed to Kansas  for 12 days next week. 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 (did over 100 sites in two months), a lot of Geomorphic surveying of streams and stream cross sections, fish shocking, and the occasional extra cool project I manage to weasel my way onto (like the 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/Wetland monitoring and restoration following the BP debacle.

Best part so far? I went out with another guy on the Delaware River near Phili working with a commercial fishing trawler out of NJ running side scan SONAR catching, tagging, and relocating Atlantic and Short-nosed Sturgeon. Were taking them upriver ten, twenty, and thirty miles from a proposed blast/dredging area in the channel to see if/what the time frame is for them to move back down river. The larger Sturgeon we caught were all Short-nosed, most of the young (anywhere from 8"-12") 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 as their oyster hatchery Seed and Shell Sales Representative. The Oyster Recovery Partnership'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 Lab 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, over 5 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 (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 bee keeping, 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.

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Alicia Kelch

Alicia KelchAfter graduating from Salisbury with an Environmental Studies & Philosophy degree in 2013, I was hired as a teacher/naturalist at 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 1 to 5 days with classes including Chesapeake Bay Studies on our boats the Spirit and the Twilight, Swamp walk, Canoeing, Garbology, Ecology, Seeds and weeds, Early American studies, and 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.

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Kerry Brennan

Kerry Brennan

I 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.

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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. Here I am with one of our rain barrels.

Tracy Lind, Michelle Schmidt and Victoria Bauer

These recent graduates are all working together at the Lower Shore Land Trust. Tracy is the Stewardship Coordinator, Michelle is the MD Conservation Corps volunteer, and Victoria is working as an intern

Tracy Lind, Michelle Schmidt, and Victoria Bauer in a jeep

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Jamie Douglas

Jamison (Jamie) Douglas is a graduate research assistant working as an extension cooperator with North Carolina State University's Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources. His work involves reviewing and summarizing scientific literature and working with the Eastern Threat Center's Template for Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Management Options (TACCIMO) for the El Yunque National Forest Land and Management Plan. In fall 2012, he started pursuing his Masters in Natural Resources with a technical option in Economics and Management at NCSU and was elected the NCSU chapter International Society of Tropical Foresters (ISTF) Treasurer. In addition to his research interests which include the impacts of climate change on tropical forest ecosystems and poverty and income inequality dynamics within the Brazilian Amazon's arc of deforestation, he is absolutely fascinated with how and why people make decisions, and is always striving to learn more about the complex interactions of our evolving socio-ecological systems. He graduated from Salisbury University Suma Cum Laude with a dual BA in Economics and Environmental Studies and minors in Mathematics and Business Administration in May 2011. In his (sparse) free time, he enjoys yoga, meditation, ultimate frisbee, disc golf, and biking. Contact Jamie Douglas at

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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. I’ve also started a healthy lifestyle blog you can read at, and I spend a lot of my time training for half-marathons and Tough Mudders or traveling. Within the next 5 years I plan to go back to school for a MBA in sustainability. Please feel free to reach me at

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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. 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 Professor Nelson’s ENVR 102 course—and I fell 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 Nation’ 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 peacebuilding 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.

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