Zam Deshields '11

"My time in both philosophy and environmental studies classes have done so much to prepare me to enter into the planning field. Specifically the senior seminar, Environmental Design. This class enabled me to begin to work toward practical application of the concepts I learned in earlier environmental studies courses. I believe that my personal philosophy has found a home in environmental design and planning, where I hope to improve the communities in which I live."

Allison Palser

Allison is an environmental education intern at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange, Texas. Her extensive and varied work activities include teaching kindergarten through eighth grade natural and environmental science, designing and implementing public education programs about various topics in natural science and natural history, managing a nature center by expanding the natural history collection, catching reptiles for temporary exhibits and caring for a frisky and lovable box turtle. In the future, Allison hopes to work as a wildlife educator or zoo educator, combining her love of animals and animal remains with her passion for teaching.

"I spend 40-50 hours a week at work, about 25 hours of that time (if not more) outside, teaching. There are no typical days in my world, but last week, I led disadvantaged kids through a five-hour outdoor course in climate and geology. The week before that, I took a group of fourth-graders on a hike and we dissected bobcat scat.

I never thought I'd be a teacher when I was at RMC. You just have to be flexible and willing to try anything. I absolutely love my job. I look forward to going pretty much every day. There's never a dull moment at work, especially when we have kids. Never put yourself in a box, or think you'll be doing one thing for the rest of your life. There's no telling what the next opportunity will bring!"

Scarlet Reierson

Scarlet is at Montana State University doing administrative work for two interdisciplinary degree programs, including environmental studies, on campus and an undergraduate research program. She was hired for this job in part because of her interdisciplinary environmental studies background. Most recently, she has been accepted into a master's program in adult and higher education at MSU.

"The environmental studies program at RMC was a perfect fit for my academic interests. The curriculum was challenging and interesting, and the faculty were fantastic! The interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum piqued my broad range of academic interests and invited me to consider environmental topics in complex, holistic ways by combining a nice balance of environmentally focused courses in science, history, politics, economics, literature and philosophy. Through the course of my study at RMC, I came to appreciate that all environmental issues should be considered in light of the complex web of ecological, social, political and economic factors that impact and shape these issues in both obvious and not-so-obvious ways.

In addition to the challenging, well-rounded curriculum, I also thought the faculty members in the program were excellent. Not only were they knowledgeable in their subject areas, but they were also incredibly adept at finding a good balance between challenging students’ assumptions, while also supporting and encouraging them through the learning process. I felt that my instructors offered the support and guidance, as well as the freedom and opportunity to allow students to explore the depths of their own intellectual curiosity to come up with new, more complex ways of considering the world around them. I also appreciated that instructors provided an “open-door” policy that made students feel welcome to stop in and have conversations ranging from that day’s reading assignment to long term goals such as careers and graduate school.

In reflecting back upon my experience as a student in the environmental studies program at RMC, I can honestly say that it was all I could have hoped for and more! The well-rounded, interdisciplinary curriculum coupled with the wonderfully supportive faculty provided a challenging and exciting environment for learning and self-discovery, as well as the confidence and skills to meet the many challenges that waited beyond graduation, including employment and more recently, graduate school at Montana State University."

Andy Babb

"The environmental studies program at RMC helped open my mind, eyes and ears to the wonders and beauty of the natural world. As simple, and possibly cheesy, as that sounds, the truth of the matter is that nature is our true home; all else has been created by man. It is therefore the only thing on this earth which is truly pure. The environmental programs at RMC taught me how to grow an appreciation and understanding of both my place in this world and the world itself through history, science, art, philosophy and language arts. It helped me gain a much deeper spiritual connection with the very things which make us tick as a human being. After my graduation from the program I have taken a job at a local church here in Billings where I do the very thing which makes me tick: playing music that influences people for truth. I work with high school and college youth, building relationships and growing as people. My education at RMC has helped teach me how to be a positive influence for the students I work with at our church, by providing a much needed perspective about the world around them. When it comes down to it, environmental studies teaches you about more than just plants, animals and global warming; it teaches you to strive toward a deeper understanding of life itself."

Sara '96

"I graduated from RMC in 1996 with a double major in biology and environmental science. I worked for a few years as an environmental educator/naturalist before returning to school. I graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2000 with a master's of science degree in recreation and park administration. I began working for the Forest Service shortly after graduation. I started out on a trail crew and worked my way up to the trail boss, wilderness ranger, and river ranger position on the Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District, Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest out of Saratoga, Wyo. I am currently on the Tongue Ranger District, Bighorn National Forest out of Sheridan, Wyo.

I am a recreation forester where I manage the forest trail program and am the special uses assistant of the district. I enjoy the diversity of working in a beautiful place with interesting people. Everyday is different and offers a variety of challenges. When people ask me about my education I always tell them about the well-rounded curriculum, supportive instructors and positive learning environment I experienced at RMC. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to study there, where I was able to focus my career goals while building life-long relationships with friends and teachers. The small intimate classrooms and beautiful campus were also conducive to my success and positive outlook."