A panel discussion for students featured recent graduates discussing their careers in environmental consulting and offering advice on first jobs.
During a virtual panel discussion, McKenzie Frazier ’20, Audrey Hunt ’20 and Emma Loubsky-Lonergan ’20 discussed what it’s like to work for an environmental consulting firm and provided insight about the field for current students.
“Having had all three of these women as students in my classes, I’m thrilled to now see them making their way as young professionals in their fields of study,” says Professor of Environmental Studies Darrin Magee, who hosted the event. “They’re all great role models for current students.”
Environmental studies and geoscience major Loubsky-Lonergan is a manufacturing geologist for the environmental and engineering consulting firm Haley and Aldrich in Rochester, N.Y. She’s worked on several environmental remediation projects related to manufacturing companies as well as post-closure landfill monitoring projects and soil contamination remediation projects.
Hunt, who also majored in environmental studies and geoscience, is employed as an environmental scientist at the environmental and engineering consulting firm AECOM in Chelmsford, Mass., where she’s involved in wetland delineations, salt marsh restoration projects and environmental inspections regarding construction work.
A biology major and environmental studies minor, Frazier is employed as a biologist at the environmental and engineering consulting firm Gomez & Sullivan Engineers in Albany, N.Y. As a field tech, she’s completed water quality studies, fish surveys, habitat mapping and invasive species studies necessary for hydroelectric power relicensing.
Hunt shared that her past geoscience lab experiences have been extremely valuable in her current position. “The field-based lab work I was exposed to has helped me to deal with the unexpectedness that comes in the field and has given me the skills to work well with others in different situations,” she said.
All three alums found their liberal arts backgrounds vital in securing their positions and providing the skills necessary to succeed. “Having a diversity of skills from geoscience lab-related field experience — but also having GIS and writing skills from environmental studies — makes you a distinct player in consulting work,” Loubsky-Lonergan told participants.
The group shared that depending on the season, the field aspects of environmental consulting positions often transition into office-based reporting and analytical work, so having both scientific and communication skills is key.
“The classes I’ve taken to fulfill goals and as a part of the interdisciplinary environmental studies curriculum really factor into conversations I have with people in the field and with clients,” Frazier explained.
Loubsky-Lonergan agreed, crediting the liberal arts curriculum at Hobart and William Smith with affording her “background knowledge to carry on conversations with clients and project managers that you wouldn’t get from just a disciplinary geoscience or biology degree.”
Shown in the image above: McKenzie Frazier ’20, Audrey Hunt ’20 and Emma Loubsky-Lonergan ’20.