Alumni Stories

Student in class

Our alumni have accomplished a variety of achievements since exiting the halls of our university.

Jim McBride

Jim McBride
is a Land Manager for Placer Land Trust, based in the Sierra Foothills near Sacramento. He helps manage around 3,500 acres spread across 14 preserves.

Willa DiCostanzo

Willa DiCostanzo
is the Waste Diversion Coordinator for the City of Lincoln. She says Nebraska's program “provided me a broad prospective of the complexities around ecosystems, human health, environmental health and how they all relate.”

Madeline Howell

Madeline Howell
earned a Masters degree in Public Health from UNMC before becoming an environmental scientist managing chemical analytical data.at engineering firm AECOM in Omaha, Nebraska.

Mariah Lundgren

Mariah Lundgren
is the producer and project manager for the Platte Basin Timelapse project, working with photographer Mike Forsberg and filmmaker Mike Farrell.

Thien Chau

Thien Chau
attended Georgetown University Law Center and clerked with the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C.

Dillon Hanson-Ahumada

Dillon Hanson-Ahumada
is a RAY Marine Conservation Diversity Fellow in the Oceans/Nature department of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a conservation nonprofit in San Francisco.

Whitney Drahota

Whitney Drahota
interned as the Education Fellow at the Cincinnati Nature Center where she gained knowledge in school programs, public programs, visitor experience, and youth programs.

Emily Reif

Emily Reif
works with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the Forest Service while pursuing a Masters of Applied Science.

Ryan Becker

Ryan Becker
works at the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department in the Environmental Public Health Division, coordinating the Keep Lincoln and Lancaster County Beautiful (KLLCB) program.

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“Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species, man,
acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world”

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962)

What they say about the program

If someone majors in Engineering... they'll be an engineer. If someone majors in accounting, they'll probably be an accountant.

Not the case for Environmental Studies. But what's nice about that is that ENVR majors don't have to choose one specific job field. I could apply for ten totally different jobs and still be qualified for all of them...

Majoring in Environmental Studies was scary at first (because it is so broad), but it really paid off when I was looking for a full-time job and realized how many things I was qualified for.

The Environmental Studies program gave me the freedom to explore Landscape and Experience with the disciplinary breadth this iterative theme requires. Courses and lectures in natural resources and humanities sparked my fascination and imagination - inspiration I applied to my senior thesis. The thesis requires detailed analysis and attending a major research university creates the opportunities to reach out to experts.

What makes UNL so special is how, across the board, professors are involved, responsive, caring, and always encouraging of interdisciplinary pursuits.  Along with my degree in Environmental Studies, I came away from UNL with a continued sense of wonder and a working knowledge of how to investigate and apply that passion.

I highly recommend getting out there are doing internships in their areas of interest and volunteering as much as possible. That's what gave me an "in" so to speak. I'd also recommend taking as many hands-on courses as possible, that's more applicable to post graduation then a lecture course (at least for me it was).