Featured AlumniAlicia Casner
B.A. Environmental Studies 2008
Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
It was not until after I graduated from high school and worked as an EMT for one year that I took my first Environmental Biology class at Fullerton College. It only took that one class for me to know that I wanted to continue my education in Environmental Studies. Over the years I have worked in several types of environmental jobs such as, environmental cleanup, hazardous and non hazardous waste compliance, groundwater sampling, soil sampling and environmental impact report writing. Being able to work in these different fields benefited me in my studies immensely, and I would recommended for all Environmental Studies and Geography majors to either internship or work in an environmental related field during their studies.
Working a full time job while completing my undergraduate studies was a difficult task for me, but I was able to gain valuable work experience which gave me the opportunity to be where I am at today. I am currently working for Combat Support Associates, Ltd (CSA, Ltd) in Kuwait. I am working as an Environmental Specialist I in the Environmental Compliance Branch, GIS department. I was hired to operate and direct the Environmental GIS program. My primary focus is on creating interactive and static maps for the environmental compliance, pollution prevention, pest management, water resources and hazardous waste branch. I am on a one year contract with renewable options, end of contract bonus, paid living arrangements and a personal vehicle. I live on the Kuwait economy, so when I am not at work I am spending my free time enjoying the great food, shopping and recreational activities Kuwait has to offer. I never went looking to work as a Military contractor, it just found me. Working overseas has been the best opportunity for me and I know it will only open more doors. Environmental professionals are necessary all over the world so leave your options open to take advantage of the opportunities available to you.
The Environmental Studies and Geography program at CSUSB has better prepared me to pursue myself as a professional in the environmental and geography field. GIS is a beneficial certificate to obtain from the department, I highly recommend all students enrolled in the program to take advantage of this certificate offered. Even if GIS is not your niche, having the certificate of accomplishment enhances your opportunity to find a rewarding environmental job. GIS is becoming the skill employers base their hiring decision on. I never imagined I would have been hired for a GIS position, but since I have the certificate and work experience I am able to meet the necessary requirements for a wide variety of environmental careers.
The CSUSB Environmental and Geography program was like a family for me and for students who are either enrolled in the program , or who are looking to enroll, I hope you feel the same way. I am more then happy to lend any advice or answer any questions any one may have for me regarding environmental job positions. I can be reached through email at LLisalue22@aol.com.
BA Geography 2005, Minor Environmental Studies,
Certificate in Urban Planning
While getting my degree in Geography, I worked for the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District as an environmental planner specializing in water resource permitting and environmental analysis. After finishing my studies, I moved to Eugene, Oregon in September to work for the Lane Council of Governments as a water resources planner through an Americorps program administered by the University of Oregon’s (UO) Department of Planning, Public Policy, and Management Community Service Center. The program is called (RARE:Resource Assistance for Rural Environments ) and aims “to increase the capacity of rural communities to improve their economic, social, and environmental conditions, through the assistance of trained graduate-level participants who live and work in communities for 11 months (1,700 hours).” In exchange for my service I receive a $4,725.00 educational reward, nine credits in the UO Masters of Community and Regional Planning (CRP) program, a small monthly stipend, health insurance, and Oregon residency. After my service is completed in August I plan on beginning a dual masters program in CRP and Public Administration at the UO.
Whether you are looking for that first planning job or just a change of scenery, I strongly encourage people to look into this or similar service learning programs for the truly unique experiences and opportunities they provide.