Our MES Alumni
The best environmental solutions come from a wide variety of perspectives. MES students have a range of academic and life experiences, and alumni go on to many different careers.
Our graduates go on to many different environmental careers and studies:
- Develop and run non-profit organizations
- Work for national, state, local, and tribal governments
- Resource management, research, and policy development
- Environmental education and outreach
Many also continue further study, earning Ph.D.s or additional professional degrees.
Get to know some of our MES students and alumni and hear about their successes and experiences in their own words.
Rhys Roth, 1990
In the future our freezers may have the capability to skip a cycle, not enough to affect food, but enough collectively to save significant amounts of energy. Railways may be able to transport millions of people using 100 percent wind power, and electric cars may be the only type of vehicle on the road, with minutes-long charging stations replacing gas pumps.
Rhys Roth ’87, MES ’90 believes in these changes and believes the Northwest can help lead the way, making substantial impact on infrastructure crisis—and ultimately, on climate change.
Tyrus Smith, 1997
Tyrus Smith completed his MES in 1997. He has been a faculty member at The Evergreen State College since 2001. Currently, he teaches a variety of environmental studies and environmental policy courses, and leads student learning in research and statistics at the Evergreen Tacoma campus.
At Evergreen Tacoma, students work with a faculty advisor from their admission until their graduation, and Tyrus regularly advises up to 24 undergraduate students annually. He sees his advising position as a platform to help guide students so they draw their own conclusions about their education; it is his job to ask the right questions as students explore different ideas and opportunities during their education. MES is excited to announce that Tyrus will be joining the MES faculty team in the 2018-19 academic year!
Christine Svetkovitch, 2000
Completing MES started Christine on a journey that led from environmental education and community development in the Russian Far East all the way back to the Pacific Northwest. Now she works for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, focusing on policy and implementation.
Brian Footen, 2001
Brian’s company Flying FishViews has demonstrated a dramatic new approach to storytelling and environmental study that takes people on a journey of exploration and discovery above and below the water.
Rachael Jamison, 2003
Rachael Jamison is the Planning, Public Works and Environmental Director at the Port of Olympia. In this role she oversees all environmental management, sustainability reporting, regulatory environmental site assessments, and compliance and capital investments. Beyond all that, she also directs the Engineering department at the Port on infrastructure projects, remediation projects (e.g. Budd Inlet), and the City of Olympia’s sea level rise plan. Rachael leads a team of 5 (including herself) – 3 with environmental expertise, and 2 engineers. In addition to her copious duties at the Port, she coaches and leads various community running events. At present, Rachael is working to complete her Master in Business Administration at St Martin’s University.
Fiona Edwards, 2014
Fiona Edwards (MES 2014) earned a BA in Philosophy and Cognitive Psychology from Bard College in New York in 2011. After considering a master’s degree in Liberal Studies from the New School, working at a plant nursery, and trying out her hand at marketing for a liquor company, she decided to move back to the west coast (she’s originally from Los Angeles) to pursue education in the MES program. Fiona had previously worked in prisons during her time at the Bard Prison Initiative and had enjoyed her experience. The Sustainability in Prisons Project (SPP) was one of the major reasons Fiona decided to attend Evergreen, and she eventually accepted a position as a student Program Coordinator there during her 1st year in MES.
Jana Fischback, 2014
I’ve always been a nerd who loves learning, and after I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in communications I realized I wanted to focus my career on the environment.
I began looking at grad schools, and Evergreen’s program seemed to fit my needs the best. I loved that it was interdisciplinary and would provide a well-rounded background for whatever career I decide to pursue. I didn’t have a lot of science background and this degree is very accommodating to that.
Chelsea Waddell, 2015
Chelsea Waddell believes strongly in the importance of networking with a job, agency, or opportunity of interest. Some of her strongest advice for current and prospective MES students is to make those professional connections as early and as often as possible. She recommends volunteering (though she acknowledges this can be very challenging for graduate students), interning, joining professional societies, taking short-term and contract positions, and reaching out to the leaders working in the fields you want to work in. Not all of these are easy options for graduate students, but they are opportunities available to students who join the MES program.
Daron Williams, 2016
Daron Williams (MES 2016) is currently the Community Conservation Manager at Capitol Land Trust (CLT). In his role, he oversees projects involving restoration, public access and environmental education. In his time with CLT he has already held a few other titles, starting as “intern” during his first year in the MES program.