Current MES Students
Our students come from a range of backgrounds and each aspire to achieve their own individual goals in this program. For many students, the MES program provides them with tools and opportunities to make the change they want to see.
Paige Anderson, 2015 Cohort
I want to find a way to intersect all of my interests into a lifelong passion that I can gain inspiration from every day. GIS, environmental policy, bioregional ecology and identity, and natural resource management fascinate me. I didn’t grow up in one place—I was born in Port Angeles, and moved around to various parts of Washington and Oregon before spending the last four years in Bellingham, Washington.
So basically I don’t call one city home; I’m from the Pacific Northwest in general.
There were a million aspects of Evergreen that made the MES degree my first choice. Most of all, I was enticed by the eco-conscious, open-minded culture of Evergreen and the gorgeous landscape surrounding it. Read the rest of Paige’s story.
Tushaun Vang, 2015 Cohort
I hail from Fresno, California where triple digit summers are custom. My environmental interests are sprawled across ethnoecology, fisheries, and GIS. Outside of academia, I dabble in longboards, videogames, and multimedia. Aside from trying to escape the desert that I call home, I gravitated towards the MES program due to my own research interests overlapping with multiple faculties’. This prompted me to believe that I would have a strong support system in an interdisciplinary setting. Read the rest of Tushaun’s story.
Arielle Simmons, 2015 Cohort
My home base is New Jersey, just outside of New York City.
Every facet of MES impressed me—its incorporation of interdisciplinary environmental fields, the creative, friendly, and intuitive nature of Evergreen students, faculty, and alumni, and the beauty of the environment in/of which we are learning.
The Evergreen State College is a school of leaders. It is my hope to extrapolate critical knowledge from every curricular and extracurricular activity in and around my graduate career to best learn how to make a substantive positive impact for our common environment—as a leader, as a woman, and as a global citizen. Read more or Ari's story here.
Esmael Lopez, 2016 Cohort
I’m Esmael Xiutecpatl Lopez, Capitan of the Aztec dance group CeAtl Tonalli and I’m beginning Evergreen State College’s MES program to learn different techniques and perspectives to find a way to bring sustainability to people everywhere. I have decided to return to school at Evergreen State College to continue researching projects around culture, ecology, sustainability and community empowerment. It has been through my Aztec spiritual practices that I have come to understand the need for a change in our relationship with Tonantzin, mother earth. I have come to the realization that there is a large movement of people working on eco-technology and sustainable living. Read the rest of Esmael’s story.
Kenzi Smith, 2016 Cohort
Hello my name is Kenzi Smith and I am a continuing MES student from Redmond, WA. I spent 1 year on a Washington Conservation Corps restoration crew, and I have received a bachelor's in geology from SJSU. I enjoy drawing (pokemon!), reading fantasy, and playing video games. I am interested in pursuing Ecological conservation and restoration in the MES program. The MES course, Conserving and Restoring Biodiversity was excellent! I already love evolution and taxonomy so learning about these topics in the context of invasive species, extinction, and conservation was a new twist on a fascinating, if depressing, subject. I have taken advantage of internship opportunities with WSDOT wetlands monitoring internship, WSDOT stormwater inventorying internship and the Washington Invasive Species Council internship. I currently work off-campus as a part-time intern at the Washington Invasive Species Council. For my thesis I'm probably going to do something related to my current internship, like comparing invasive species first detector networks in different states, or something else about invasive species education and outreach. Since beginning the MES program I've become a lot more humble, less assured that my way is the right way, and more appreciative of the need for humans' needs to be addressed in environmental problem-solving. I'd love to work for the government or maybe a non-profit, doing something with conservation or restoration. Lately I've become interested in environmental policy, as well. In the MES program it is important to take advantage of all the internship opportunities available, and make sure to frequently check in with your professors about your bigger research projects to make sure you're on the right track. If you see me out and about, ask me about my pet cockatiel!
Max Calloway, 2016 Cohort
Hello, my name is Max Calloway and I am a continuing MES student from New England. As an undergraduate I studied literature, journalism and politics. While working as a salmon fisherman and dog handler in interior Alaska, I realized I wanted to work in the environmental field. I have since taught ecological field methods to teens and worked for the forest and parks service for the past four years. Outside of work I enjoy surfing, snorkeling and diving. Anything that gets me in the water makes me happy. I also like to make food that incorporates shellfish and seaweed. Read the rest of Max's story. or Click here to read about Max's summer working with the Olympic National Park.
Ned Pittman, 2016 Cohort
My name is Ned Pittman and I am a continuing MES student from Olympia Washington, where in 2000 I received my BS from The Evergreen State College. I was drawn to the MES program for the locality and the good experiences I had as an undergraduate student at Evergreen. In MES I am most interested in research design and analysis but I can’t quite pick a favorite course just yet. So far MES has been very much an extension of my undergrad experience at Evergreen. I currently work for the Habitat Science Team at the Department of Fish and Wildlife as a salmonid ecologist. Outside of work I enjoy lots of outdoorsy things. For my thesis I am interested in looking at the physical and biological effects of floodplain restoration and LWD placement at Big Beef Creek, Washington. My advice to MES students would be to make connections with local agencies. I would offer an interesting fact about myself for prospective and current MES students but some already know too much.
Tess Dooley, 2017 Cohort
I am from Charleston, SC (but originally Colorado and Wyoming). I majored in Biology and minored in Math and Environmental Studies at the College of Charleston. I was drawn to the MES program because I knew I wanted to pursue something relating to the environment and sustainability. The truly interdisciplinary approach and the flexibility of the MES program appealed to me. I am interested in environmental justice, how we can influence individuals to change their behavior, and policy change. While in the MES program I hope to gain the tools I need to actively pursue my interests, as well as gain a stronger sense of what I ultimately want to do. I don't have a clear picture of that exactly (which is part of why I was drawn to a program: it would give me the flexibility to explore), but I do know that I want to fight to protect our planet and the people on it.
Katrina Keleher, 2017 Cohort
Katrina comes to the MES program with a background in climate science, geosciences, and environmental education. Originally hailing from Chicago, her early exposure to the outdoors during family road trips matured into a passion for the environment as she moved to Montana pursue her undergraduate degree. As a college student, Katrina spent her summers working on boats in Alaska, a year exploring caves and studying abroad in England, and completed an undergraduate thesis on warming permafrost regions throughout the Kuparuk River Watershed in northern Alaska. As a graduate student at Evergreen, Katrina will be focusing her studies on ecological implications and responses to climate change in forest ecosystems. Because the changing climate is yielding wildly complex and vast consequences, Katrina found MES' interdisciplinary approach towards environmental issues unparalleled and exciting while pursuing graduate programs. Beyond academia, Katrina enjoys backpacking, rock-climbing, and botanizing.
Alexandra James, 2017 Cohort
Hi my name is Alexandra James, I am a first year MES student. I was born and raised in Colorado, but have spent the last decade in Montana. I was lucky enough to have studied Ecology & Organismal Biology at the University of Montana. Since obtaining a B.A. in this field, I have spent the last 2.5 years working for an international non-profit dedicated to environmental education. I enjoy the outdoors - hiking, camping, biking, etc. I also enjoy baking, dancing, reading, and raising a myriad of animals. I found the educational philosophy practiced at Evergreen to be inspiring and thought that the MES program would gift me with a well-rounded understanding of our relationships with the natural world. The MES program seems to foster an incredible array of interdisciplinary studies, but I am most excited to focus on environmental education and ecological economics. I hope to gain a better sense of myself and the confidence to make a positive change for our environment. I hope to have the ability to share knowledge and create a safe place of understanding.
Hillary Foster, 2017 Cohort
Hello my name is Hillary Marie Foster and I am a first year MES student from Virginia Beach, Virginia. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Longwood University May of 2015. After graduating, I was the manatee GIS intern with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Here I had the opportunity to participate in the research of Florida manatees and see GIS being used to monitor species abundances and population trends. During the summer of 2016 I moved to WA. Shortly after moving, I joined AmeriCorps/Washington Conservation Corps fulltime as a member of the Puget SoundCorps within the Aquatic Reserves Program at the WA Department of Natural Resources. I am part of a six-member crew that conducts baseline and trend monitoring of important habitats and species throughout the Puget Sound. When I am not at work or school I enjoy reading fantasy and fiction novels, playing video games on various platforms, and being outside in nature. The flexibility of the MES program appeals to me because it allows freedom to create my own educational path within an interdisciplinary structure instead of being tied down to a rigid "one size fits all” program.This interdisciplinary education will give me the opportunity to understand environmental conservation from multiple perspectives, allowing a more holistic understanding of challenges that are associated with this field of study. I'm most interested in GIS and marine mammal conservation. Research involving marine mammal conservation is a multifaceted field and I believe a program such as the interdisciplinary MES program will provide the needed skills and resources to achieve my goals. After the MES program I aspire to obtain my Ph.D. My "dream occupation" would be anything where I am able to research marine mammals to evaluate their conservation needs. If you couldn't guess already, I'm crazy about whales! I have also participated in various projects involving the research of marine debris, another passion of mine!
Nicole Manteufel, 2017 Cohort
Hi my name is Nicole Manteufel and I am and first year MES student, originally from Sebring Florida. Prior to the MES program I was in the U.S. Army for 8 years. Outside of school and work I enjoy spending time with my husband and son. I was drawn to the MES program because of its flexibility. I am really interested in studying marine mammals and marine biology. My dream occupation after the MES program would be to work as a scientist to study cetaceans.
Jeremy Richtmyre, 2017 Cohort
My name is Jeremy Richtmyre, I am a first year MES student originally from Vancouver, WA. I have a BA in Political Science & Social Studies from Western Washington University. I was a Legislative Intern for the Washington State Senate and a Legislative Aide for the King County Council. I have also been a Sr. LAN Manager in the U.S. Army Reserves. I enjoy hiking, mountain climbing, soccer and traveling. I was drawn to the MES program for the location and the layout of the program. The location is great due to its proximity to a plethora of government and environmental agencies and my family resides in Tumwater. The layout of the program allows students to be flexible with class schedules and to be able to still work a regular job. Plus the ability to choose from a wide range of electives so that one has the ability to specialize in a given field... Also internship opportunities are everywhere down here. I am interested in conservation and restorative ecology, public land management, and GIS. In the MES program I hope to gain the tools necessary to begin my career along with additional insight into the complexity of the natural environment. I'd really like to be a Park Ranger. When I finish this program that will be the route I embark on initially... But a lot can change in two years, I'm just looking to roll along with things for now and leave those decisions for later.