CALS Alumna Highlight: Lauren Taylor
Lauren Taylor graduated with her bachelor’s degree in environmental science in 2011. In her career, she now enjoys the opportunity to work with biologists, hydrologists, wetland specialists, geologists and several disciplines within the engineering world.
What brought you to CALS and your department? What first sparked your interest in your major?
I have always been interested in the environment, a geology class I took pushed me toward pursuing a degree in environmental science. I appreciated the opportunity to have an education in both natural sciences and the policy that protects resources.
Was there a particular CALS faculty/staff or mentor that was influential in your career path?
Professors Ignacio Porzecanski, Taylor Stein, and M. LeAnn Brown all played a huge role in introducing me to a different world of environmental science that included practical applications, thought leadership, and the importance of international cooperation and policy. Without their courses, I doubt I would be in the career I am in today.
What do you find to be the coolest/best part of your job/career?
I enjoy being able to work with multiple disciplines to achieve a singular goal. Every day, I get to work with biologists, hydrologists, wetland specialists, geologists and several disciplines within the engineering world. It is really enjoyable to be able to constantly get new pieces of information outside of my field and figure out how it all fits together in the big picture.
What are some exciting projects you have worked on in the course of your career?
I have been lucky to work on many interesting projects throughout my career including several large-scale infrastructure projects. One I enjoyed the most was creating a habitat suitability model using GIS to identify potential habitat for several focal species, including ones that were threatened/endangered, to ultimately determine potential wildlife crossing locations.
What advice would you give to students who are interested in the same major/career path as you?
Once you land a job, don’t be afraid to ask questions of people in disciples outside of your own. It will make you a better scientist, help you understand how the world works and ultimately feed the passion that motivated you to get your degree and jump into your career path.
“Your degree has a lot of different applications so don’t be afraid to think outside the box on where your career can go.” – Lauren Taylor
Environmental science is the study of people’s role in our natural systems. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the Environmental Science program approaches complex environmental issues across multiple perspectives. Students study ecology, soil and water sciences, and natural resource management as well as environmental ethics, economics, policy, and law. Find a CALS major that suits your interests by taking our majors quiz. You can also find information regarding our undergraduate and graduate programs on our website. Questions for Lauren Taylor regarding her experiences in environmental science should be directed to L.firstname.lastname@example.org.