Molly Stetz '12/'14
MS in Environmental Science & Ecology
Advanced study in the field leads to a career of contributing to sustainable practices
“Living in a sustainable manner is important, and will become more so in the future.”
Molly Stetz’s deeply-rooted interest in water resources stems from the fond memories she shares with her father fishing on the St. Lawrence River. “The quiet time on the river led to my passion and appreciation for hydrologic systems,” she shared. “I wanted to work in a career that restores and protects our streams, rivers, and wetlands.” On track to complete her thesis on wetland restoration, earn her master’s in Environmental Science & Ecology, as well as implement a Water Quality Monitoring Program at the Genesee County SWCD this year, Molly is well on her way to fulfilling her purpose.
Growing up in South Wales, NY, Molly spent most of her time horseback riding, fishing, and kayaking. Passionate about the outdoors, she developed an initial interest in meteorology. Molly discovered that The College at Brockport offered one of the few meteorology programs in the state, and she was enticed by the College’s “comfortable and fun atmosphere.” After matriculating, she grew interested in changing her direction, deciding to pursue the earth science program for her undergraduate degree, and later the graduate program in environmental science.
The intimate class sizes in both the undergraduate and graduate programs were conducive to her success in learning. The close-knit students and study groups, as well as approachable and amicable professors, positioned her in a valuable network that became the gateway for discovering new research and internship opportunities that aligned with her passions. “As a junior, Dr. Mark Noll approached me and asked me to consider applying for the Brockport Summer Research Program. [This] led to my presentation at the 2011 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN. I was honored that Dr. Noll took me to present at that professional level.”
Brockport provided Molly “with the opportunities and motivation to develop into an environmental professional.” She has enjoyed the research positions that she has held and is genuinely interested in the research that she performs. She is especially passionate about her thesis topic, which explores the potential effects of climate change on existing Wetland Restoration Projects in Genesee County, NY.
Presently, in anticipation of earning her graduate degree, Molly has landed a position as a Conservation Technician for the Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District. A few of her duties include monitoring and assessing the water quality of the streams in the county, watershed planning, and directing the annual Genesee County Envirothon, among other things. Molly’s favorite aspect of her job is knowing that her work helps to protect and conserve water resources for future generations, as well as benefit the ecosystems that rely on healthy streams. “I love any day I am working in the field, especially in the streams or wetlands.”
Molly’s Brockport education has enriched her passion for the outdoors. Once she earns her master’s degree, she hopes to backpack through different trails in a number of mountain ranges and spend her honeymoon in Arcadia National Park. “I am happy to work in a position where I can benefit the environment every day.” Twenty years from now, Molly will remember “that Brockport was the root of her career success.”