An EAPS undergraduate degree can take you places you haven’t yet imagined—whether a career tracking satellites or tracking hurricanes; engineering carbon capture and storage or engineering environmental policy; or pursuing graduate research in a top-tier program, continuing to discover the fundamental forces which shape our world.
Alexandra Jordan came to MIT knowing she was interested in environmental issues, particularly the impact of climate change on our food system and ecosystems. She says between the faculty and students she met in Terrascope as a First Year and the availability of the environmental science concentration offered in Course XII, she knew Course XII was the right choice. Alex graduated from law school in 2016 and is currently clerking for a judge in Washington, D.C. In the fall she will begin a two year fellowship as a civil rights attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama. She says, “Though my EAPS education doesn’t substantively relate to my day-to-day work I have been able to use my EAPS degree to bolster my scientific arguments in the areas of food and environmental law.”
“As an EAPS—and particularly a geology—student, I was part of a tight-knit community. Unlike many other majors, I knew every EAPS undergraduate and nearly all the professors and grad students. This made the Green Building feel like home and the department feel like family. It also made many of our field research trips incredibly successful, because even though you were working, the work was fun because it was with your friends.”
COURSE 12 CLASS OF 2011 | JUDICIAL LAW CLERK AT DC COURT OF APPEALS
Amber Stangroom was drawn to EAPS after a DEAPS trip as an FPOP. She recalls “The Yellowstone trip didn’t always used to be Yellowstone – my trip was a fossil tour of the southwestern US with Sam Bowring and Kirk Johnson, who is now the head curator for the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. I had never traveled out west before, and it was really an eye-opening experience.” Throughout her freshman year, Stangroom says she was thinking about biology for her major, but says she was disappointed in MIT’s offerings on the ecology/zoology side. “The summer after freshman year I did a UROP in Sam [Bowring]’s lab, and that made up my mind. EAPS it is!”
Amber now works at an environmental consulting company where she divides her time between environmental due diligence work looking at potential environmental liabilities of properties/companies being bought and sold and issues of health and safety, mostly looking at workplace chemical exposures. Although she says she doesn’t directly use the knowledge she learned (“except reading topographic maps –very handy in my job”), she says the skills she learned are invaluable.
“My observational and deductive skills I learned in EAPS have definitely put me ahead in my career.”
COURSE 12 CLASS OF 2012 | ASSOCIATE AT RAMBOLL ENVIRON
Anastasia Maheras entered MIT thinking she was headed for pre-med, but beginning to realize she didn’t want to be a doctor or do medical research set her thinking about alternatives. A self-confessed science fiction nut – “aliens, space ships, all of it” – she decided to take a seminar in Course XVI about space. She says “Each week, we would hear a lecture about a different topic in space science or engineering. I found I loved the science lectures; hearing about asteroids and other planets was so interesting to me.” Taking intro classes during sophomore year (she particularly loved 12.003) she says “I was completely hooked!”
Anastasia was a long time member of the Weather and Climate Club. “I did the WxChallenge with Lodo and it was great. I really enjoyed the bi-weekly meetings with Bertucci’s, and I learned a lot of weather forecasting. I’m still the go-to person for determining whether to bring an umbrella to work!”
“EAPS was a super hardcore experience for me. I learned more about math, physics, and differential equations in my EAPS classes than I did classes in those departments themselves. I became a power user of MATLAB, using it to determine what parts of a mountain may be at risk of landslides, hurricane damage under different environmental conditions, and mercury deposition over terrestrial environments.”
COURSE 12 CLASS OF 2012 | BROADBAND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Madison Douglas who majored in EAPS with a minor in History, feels Course XII majors especially benefit from the small class size and intimate collegiality of the department. “The main difference between my classroom experience and that of my peers was the incredible individual attention I received from my professors. Being in small classes allowed me to really get to know and connect with them. These relationships were deepened during our time in the field, when I connected with my professors, TAs and fellow students to build a network of mentors, colleagues and friends that I rely on beyond graduation to this day. Attending a conference this past December I enjoyed going out to dinner and visiting the posters of my professors and graduate students, now as part of a network of collaborators that I can call upon for support in solving exciting new problems in geology.”
This fall Madison begins grad school having spent the past year working for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) where she has been studying erosion on the big island of Hawaii to help land managers minimize erosion on ranches, military bases and national monuments.
“The MIT EAPS department has an incredible track record of getting students into the graduate school of their choice. As I look forward to my PhD and future in research, I am grateful for the incomparable scientific and intellectual foundation, as well as network of friends and collaborators, that my experience in EAPS granted me.”
COURSE 12 CLASS OF 2016 | US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Shaena Berlin knew she was interested in some sort of environment-related field, though initially she thought she would do Course I Environmental Engineering. She says “I participated in Terrascope my first semester, and it seemed like such a great course trying to solve real-world environmental problems, that it convinced me to join EAPS. Also, the required coursework for other fields seemed pretty dry/abstract, whereas EAPS had very applied classes from the beginning.”
Today Shaena is working as an environmental consultant for a private company in the air sciences field.
“I do atmospheric dispersion modeling, emissions estimates, and other projects related to air quality and greenhouse gases. Majoring in EAPS provided me a solid background in atmospheric and environmental science, along with the strong math/computer skills needed for this career.”
COURSE 12 CLASS OF 2014 | AIR QUALITY ASSOCIATE AT RAMBOLL ENVIRON