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Hometown: Charlotte, NC & New Orleans, LA
Program: Certificate in Nonprofit Management; MSc., Environmental Science (Wetland Ecology)
Undergraduate College and Major: Forest Health, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry
Expected Graduation Date: Summer 2016
Current Occupation: Graduate Wetland Research Assistant, Field Biologist, The College at Brockport
How and why did you decide to apply for The College at Brockport Nonprofit Management Certificate?
I chose to pursue the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management because I felt it was pertinent to be proficient in funneling information across sectors. Cross-disciplinary pursuits are not unique in the ecological/environmental realm and, commonly, large-scale projects are conducted as partnerships among public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders. This unique opportunity at Brockport thus seemed relevant to bridge an existing gap in my own understanding of that interface. Overall, I think it behooves project managers to incorporate a more vast comprehension of the internal structure of other participating sectors. This can support more effective dialogue, which translates into clearer objectives and executions, and hopefully creates an environment in which the benefits can be more readily shared.
What have you enjoyed most about the program so far?
While I am still deeply rooted in scientific investigation, I have enjoyed crossing the threshold from scientific inquiry into the realm of policy and seeing where that line blurs. Not only have I been challenged in respect to environmental policy making, but I am also now addressing some germane questions pertaining to the manner in which groups function and engage, how to enhance their efficacy, how to bolster successful collaborations, etc. It has been drawing on previously latent mental faculties and I love an intellectual challenge.
What does your job entail?
I am responsible for the botanical component of three habitat restoration projects in the Rochester Area of Concern. This encompasses vegetation surveys, hydrologic analysis, mapping, spatial and data analyses, contributing to the design and implementation phases, engaging stakeholders, and provision of general oversight. It is a lengthy yet worthwhile process.
What are your future goals?
I am particularly interested in coastal wetland research and habitat restoration, and in the long run envision myself working as a field botanist and ecologist on restoration efforts in the Southeast. I do anticipate going overseas at a point in the future to tackle mangrove restoration and visit some Ramsar wetlands (those of international concern).