Master of Environmental Studies

Student Profile

Rachel Stendahl, Class of 2014, Marine Conservation and Environmental Education

Where are you from?Image of MES student Rachel Stendahl
Vashon Island, Washington

What drew you to the MES degree at Evergreen?
The location and the flexibility to completely tailor your thesis research to your specific interests.

What do you hope to gain from the program?
A well-rounded interdisciplinary education that will help me reach my future career goals in marine conservation.

What was your previous education and work experience prior to entering MES?
I have a B.S. in environmental science with an emphasis in marine ecology and a minor in biology from Western Washington University. After graduating from Western, I worked on a restoration crew with Washington Conservation Corps in Skagit County, Washington. I have also worked with wildlife in a variety of capacities including as an education specialist and zookeeper at The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona and as an assistant aquarist at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington.

What are your areas of interest in MES?
I am very interested in all marine conservation issues. I particularly love researching marine mammal and human interactions. I also love teaching environmental education.

What activities do you enjoy outside of school and work?
I enjoy hiking, kayaking, beach combing, babysitting my niece, playing with my pet rabbits and just hanging out with my friends and family.

What is your "dream occupation"? What do you see yourself doing after earning your MES degree?
I would love to be involved in marine mammal research for a state agency, NOAA or Cascadia Research. I could also see myself as the curator of a marine mammal rehabilitation center or something similar. I might eventually become a professor so that I can combine my passions of teaching and research.

Who has been an inspirational individual in your life?
My mom has been a huge inspiration to me, she is always supportive of my choices and has spurred my love of teaching.

And anything super interesting you think prospective and currents students should know about you!
I once swam with a whale shark in the wild and it was the most magical day of my life!