Like producing a fine wine, some things take time, and so it is with me and coming back to MSU. It began several years ago. Through Dan Chegwidden in University Development, my wife and I established a planned gift for an endowed scholarship fund. With Alex Tripp in the College of Social Science’s Dean’s Office, I reconnected with Geography and Dr Arbogast.
In my chosen field – energy and environmental, health and safety (EH&S) planning, regulations and management, I use what I learned at MSU every day. I am thankful for outstanding teachers and researchers in both Geography and College of Ag and Natural Resources who provided me with the tools and guidance to succeed.
While completing my BA with High Honors in Geography, I began working for and then leading a state-wide citizen environmental group in Lansing before returning to MSU for my MA with thesis in Geography and minor in Resource Development (essentially creating a study in environmental planning.) Along the way I had the good fortune to serve the Governor’s Office and MI Dept of Natural Resources on various environmental and land use advisory bodies, like the Michigan Environmental Review Board, and DNR State Land Use Rules Advisory Committee. My MSU time was also rounded out through a teaching assistant and research assistant opportunities.
In my 35+ years since graduation, I have worked on assessing impacts of copper-nickel mining in northern Minnesota, and many aspects of EH&S for two electric utilities, state government, and as a guest scientist at a national research center near Cologne, Germany. For the last 18 years, I’ve been involved in EH&S project development with North American electric utilities through an international research institute.
In an upcoming guest lecture at MSU, I will describe how Geography has so much relevance to the energy sector, and to increasing “integrated” solutions to our challenges.
I hope my fellow Alumni will reach-out to Dr Arbogast, too. He and I and Alex Tripp have discussed approaches to strengthen alumni service to the department. We’ve discussed mentoring, linking thesis ideas to real-world needs, jobs and internship referrals through personal contacts, and various on-line and social media. You may also be surprised — like I was initially — about all the options for financially supporting MSU.
Thank you to Drs. Chubb, Brunn, Thomas, Winters, and many others in Geography, and Drs. Cutler, Barlowe, Bernstein, and Schmid in CANR for their support, patience, and excellence in teaching.
If any students with interests in energy and EH&S would like to connect, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.