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.

Jessica ConverseJessica Converse, 2019 Cohort

I am a United States Navy veteran. I was a Persian-Farsi translator with an Associates degree in the language. After I fulfilled my contract, I moved to Corvallis, OR to finish my Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a Spanish minor. I graduated in 2017, and went to work for Northwest Youth Corps as a crew lead for one of their conservation crews. After completing that contract, I got a job as a Spanish speaking teaching assistant at the Corvallis Montessori School.

My journey to MES has been a few years in the making - I wished to attend Evergreen in 2007 for my undergraduate degree, but instead decided to join the Navy. In 2019, I was feeling the need to expand my educational and experiential knowledge and the idea to come back to my Evergreen dreams has come to fruition!....

Read more about Jessica's story here!

Angela Dillon

Angela Dillon, 2018 Cohort

The MES program came highly recommended by my colleagues and since I am always looking for opportunities to improve my knowledge and experience, I decided to apply.

Before coming to MES I received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington with a major in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and a minor in American Indian Studies. I spent some time at NOAA dissecting Pacific cod, Pacific halibut and flathead sole. I monitored water quality in Snoqualmie for a few years. I currently work for the Puyallup Tribe as a Stock Assessment Biologist. Outside of class and work, I volunteer with an organization that gets kids involved in after school activities. I also plant trees at volunteer planting events in Snoqualmie....

Read more about Angela's story here!

Trudy Gritsch headshotTrudy Gritsch, 2018 Cohort

Hi everyone, I’m Trudy! I have just started my MES in the fall of 2018, and I am already so excited to see what the rest of my time here has in store for me. Both as a student, and as the program assistant for MES.

I graduated from the University of Kansas in the spring of 2016 with a dual degree in Environmental Studies and English Creative Writing.The double degree came from passion; I loved them both, so I gave neither up! The intersection of these two studies, environmental literature and writing, is where I thrive.

Since first learning to hold a pencil, I have written stories. As I have grown, so has the content of those stories. What began with cats in treehouses, grew to fantasy in high school, and finally into nature writing as I got into the double degree.

n culminating my undergrad, I began a piece as a project in the environmental studies program and refined it to be my English thesis....

Read more about Trudy's story here!

Woman smiling with boat backgroundAlexis Haifley, 2018 Cohort

After completing my undergrad in Criminal Justice, I worked several jobs in government service and the non-profit sector before moving to Olympia and getting a job with the state. I currently work full time, so when school is in session I'm definitely limited on my free time. However, during summer break I enjoy traveling, hiking, scuba diving, and reading books for fun.

I was encouraged to apply to MES because my supervisor and several coworkers are alumni of the program and highly recommended it. I wanted to gain expertise in marine sciences, build community, and explore networking opportunities, and MES seemed like a great fit.

Honestly, it has turned out to be that great fit; I've loved almost everything about the program. I've become a much better writer since my first year....

Read more about Alexis's story here!

Zack Hovis

Zack Hovis, 2018 Cohort

Before getting accepted into MES, I graduated from The Evergreen State College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 2015 focusing on ecology, hydrology, and arthropology. Following this, I worked as an arthropology technician for the Pacific Northwest Research Station at Mount St. Helens identifying and sorting out insects and spiders from pitfall trap samples all across the north slope of the volcano. After that, I worked for the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) for two years doing restoration and trail work. In that time, I expanded my professional career by learning a great deal about restoration practice and theory, herbicide application, and trail operations.

My time in the WCC galvanized me into wanting to learn more about restoration and land management. Evergreen’s Master of Environmental Studies seemed to be an excellent match, considering that I graduated with my Bachelor's from there....

Read more about Zack's story here!

Eunbi LeeEunbi Lee, 2018 Cohort

Hi everyone, I am Eunbi Lee! I was born in South Korea and moved to the US in 2015 with a spirit of adventure of living in a different culture. I have always pursued to be someone who "does good" to pass clean water and land to the next generation.

Currently, I am interested in the groundwater flow that is impacted by water impoundment facilities such as dams, culverts, or wells. My passion toward the water exploitation and hydroelectricity stems from the four Major River Project in South Korea launched in 2009, which was implemented even with severe protests of many civil and environmental organizations. I would like to learn more about both the scientific background of this project in environmental perspective and the alternative policies that could revive the river flows and quality....

Read more about Eunbi's story here!

Kevin Lester headshotKevin Maxwell Lester, 2018 Cohort

I graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 2016 with a BFA in studio arts: painting and a minor in art history. During my time in undergrad, I focused on ecological themes, and environmental literature to supplement and inspire my artwork and writings. The first of these environmental literature courses took me to Antarctica, and I fell in love with ecology through the lens of polar themes. I have since visited Antarctica again with PLU, and Alaska’s Arctic Ocean by means of obsession with polar ecology.

I came to MES because of the welcoming and multidisciplinary approach to studying wildlife and the environment. The broad brushstroke of MES allowed for myself and my fellow students to pursue our passions, wherever that may lead us. I am consistently surprised by the broad scope of MES. Students research ecology, politics, sociology, and psychology all under the same roof....

Read more about Kevin's story here!

Emilia Omerberg headshotEmilia Omerberg, 2018 Cohort

Hi my name is Emilia. I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. I grew up exploring the California coastline to the Eastern Sierras. This is where I fell in love with the environment as well as working to protect and preserve it.

I studied and received majors in Biology and Environmental Studies and also received a minor in Chemistry at Oberlin College in Ohio. I thrive on experiential learning and have a passion for wildlife conservation. I initially fell in love with fish conservation during a field program in Montana where we studied Westslope cutthroat trout and Bull trout.

Since then I have honed my interests to problems of habitat degradation and interactions between native and non-native species through internships with Colorado River Cutthroat trout in Utah and Lake Trout in Lake Erie....

Read more about Emilia's story here!

Carly Rose headshotCarly Rose, 2018 Cohort

Leading up to this program, I have worked with people and organizations to build knowledge on various topics related to environmental studies – those topics include wild and native plant identification, edible and medicinal plant use, Pacific Northwest mycology, sustainable building with cob and straw bale, and organic gardening – to name a few. I completed a summer internship at the High Desert Center for Sustainable Studies in Colorado when my son was a baby. I value environmental education for individuals of all ages, which was why I volunteered to teach at the High Desert Center. I wanted to gain knowledge and skills in environmental studies to pursue my greatest interest and to open up possibilities for a career in the environmental sector. So, I returned to school to gain natural science prerequisites in Botany and Geology, and applied to the MES program with an essay titled “Protecting water resources in western Washington via the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act.” The rest, as they say, was history....

Read more about Carly's story here!

Heidi Zarghami headshotHeidi Zarghami, 2018 Cohort

Before coming to the MES program I was an artist specializing in Eco-Art sculpture. I graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz where I studied art and ecology. I worked under Newton and Helen Harrison who informed my practice and strengthened my understanding of systems thinking, as well as Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle who taught me the importance of environmental education.

My visual arts background has informed my environmental studies by instilling within me the importance of the visual design of information and the power of mapmaking in understanding the surrounding environment. During my time in the program I hope to improve my mapmaking skills and academic writing in order to gain employment after graduation within local city government in creative planning and design....

Read more about Heidi's story here!