Alumni: Where are they now?

Take a moment to see where members from previous 
years have ended up in the world of wildlife. 

Lauren Diebel

After graduating in May 2012, I was offered an internship with Dawood Engineering, Inc. out of their Enola, PA office. I spent two months exclusively in the field performing wetland delineations at gas well pad sites in the Northern Tier of PA. I was excited for the opportunity because my goal was to land a job in the private sector, and I wanted to know more about field work in the marcellus shale industry since it was always a hot topic in class. My position with Dawood became full-time at the end of August, and my official title is now Environmental Technician. In addition to delineating wetlands, I also conduct Phase I Bod Turtle Habitat Surveys, write technical reports, conduct Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments, and research oil and gase regulations in states surrounding Pennsylvania. So far, I've really enjoyed my position. I get to travel throughout the state for various projects, there's always variety in my work load, and my company supports professional growth in their employees by covering the costs of professional certifications and training. My education at Penn State has been beneficial towards my professional career, and I encourage all current students to set post-graduation career goals and start working towards them while still in school. Although technical knowledge is important in the environmental field, it's also very important to focus on communication skills as technical writing and working on a team are important aspects of my job. TWS is a great way to get involved in the environmental field and develop those essential skills!

Sam Pedder

I graduated from Penn State in 2011 and was fortunate to land a dream job within 6 months of graduation! I celebrate my "1" year anniversary with the Pennsylvania Game Commission as the Outreach Coordinator in a few weeks and I couldn't be more excited to see what the next year brings. I currently oversee the National Archery in the Schools Program, the Junior Pheasant Hunt Program, the Youth Field Day Program, specialty programs for women, and the agency's efforts to recruit, retain, and reactivate hunters. I have also had the privilege of leading the agency in testing out email marketing campaigns to promote outreach programs and license sales. I have found that having a variety of experiences from my undergrad to draw from have made me a more flexible and dynamic member of out team! I even designed a new page or two for the website and was able to do so because of the dabbling I did with our chapter website back then! There is a lot of freedom in this position and as I said, I am really excited to see what projects I get to work on next!

Eric Johnson

Ever since graduating in May of 2012, I have been busy in the working world. I began with the Fish and Boat Commission as a seasonal Fisheries Biologist Aide. U worked with hands on field data collection of warmwater species such as Black Bass, Walleye and Catfish as well as processing data, aging scales, and conducting literature reviews. One of the big projects I completed was independent research into spawning temperature variation as a function of North/South location on the east coast. With this project I was able to predict the spawning date of bass from Florida to Canada as well as model the approximate size of yearling smallmouth bass at any given time, namely in Pennsylvania. This research will allow for more precise timing of any surveys on young-of-year smallmouth bass, which are used extensively statewide. In August of 2012, I left the Commission for a full-time position with the Lackawanna County Conservation District as their Chesapeake Bay Technician. My major duties are working directly with farmers and landowners to improve management practices to protect environmental health and the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. As part of this, I provide technical support for a no-till planting program, nutrient management program, soil health program, and hopefully in the near future will be getting involved with creation and improvement of fish and wildlife habitat along with the conservation and protection of farmland watersheds and important Pennsylvania habitat areas. I am excited to have the opportunity to make a difference in conservation, and I know that my experience at Penn State and with clubs and organizations such as the Wildlife Society have helped me make my dream a reality!

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