Laura Wigand ’04
Environmental Studies/Religious Studies/Peace and Conflict Studies.
Thesis: A pilot scale bioretention cell on the Guilford College campus: research, design and construction
Graduate student at the University of Washington, and has been accepted into their doctoral program in the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
“An education at Guilford College prepared me to think in an integrated and complex manner. I believe Guilford encourages students to think creatively about the world around us and how we interact with our environment. I have used this lens to approach problems both professionally while working in global health in Washington, DC and academically as a master’s student in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington. Using this approach to understand ecological and human systems, I have explored diverse environmental topics from fisheries management and policy as an intern with World Wildlife Fund in Alaska to pubic perceptions of wildfire and prescribed fire as a research assistant for a US Forest Service program. It is also this dynamic approach to environmental studies that has led me to consider pursuing a doctorate in the environmental field.”
Carl Simon ’07
Environmental Studies/Political Science
Budget Analyst, Maryland Department of Budget and Management, Office of Policy Analysis
“The Environmental Studies degree served as the perfect training as someone who works at the nexus of policy and science. The degree provided me with a functional knowledge of environmental best management practices which is absolutely necessary if policy makers are to make the best, most well-informed decisions. Being able to do so is especially important in the current fiscal climate where government officials are making decisions on how to allocate their resources. Environmental programs are being compared to education, health, and public safety programs, and if their benefits cannot be effectively quantified and communicated, they are likely to be overlooked.
The issue I have worked on is the restoration of the largest estuary in North America, the Chesapeake Bay. The restoration effort is a classic example of an integrated approach utilizing adaptive management. If one part of the effort fails, the entire effort is jeopardized. There are strong connections between the health of the environment, and the local economy, which is highlighted here in Maryland with the restoration of the native oyster through aquaculture. My role in all of this has been to provide program analysis and funding recommendations for the State’s Budget Secretary and Governor to consider. The programs span several agencies, most notably in the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of the Environment, and the Department of Agriculture. We regularly report progress to the Governor’s Executive BayStat Committee which in an innovative tool in measuring program effectiveness in meeting the State’s pollution reduction goals. As an Environmental Studies major at Guilford College I gained the necessary scientific knowledge, communication skills, and critical evaluation abilities needed to be an effective part of this effort.”