Alumni Letter ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & PUBLIC POLICY CONCENTRATION
Dear Alumni: On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students in ESPP, we would like to thank you for participating in our recent alumni survey. We are pleased to share the results of the survey with you in this alumni letter. More than 200 of you responded, and it was wonderful to learn where all of you landed professionally and academically. The diversity of your experiences and the impact of the ESPP concentration on your lives impressed the Board of Tutors. After compiling your feedback, we presented your responses at a retreat of our Board of Tutors to assist in modernizing the framework of the ESPP concentration. In the meantime, the Board of Tutors recommended that we establish a Linked In network and associated Facebook page for ESPP to keep us all connected and informed. Too often after graduation, we lose contact with our alums and hear often that you would like to keep better in touch as well. We also invite you to return to Harvard in May for this year’s ESPP Commencement Reception. The Commencement Reception will take place on Wednesday, May 29 from 10:30-Noon in the Harvard University Center for Environment, 24 Oxford Street. This annual event has traditionally been held to celebrate with members of the graduating class and their family members. We are please to invite you to join in as well and hope that you do! Again, thank you so very much for participating in the survey, and helping us shape the future of Environmental Science and Public Policy at Harvard.
News to Note • Planning to be in Cambridge for Commencement? Please join us for our annual ESPP Commencement Reception: Wednesday, May 29 from 10:30-Noon at the Harvard University Center for Environment, located at 24 Oxford Street, Third Floor. Celebrate with members of the Class of 2013 and faculty. • We are pleased to announce ESPP now has a FaceBook page. Be sure to “like” our page to keep on top of events, read articles, and to stay connected to all that’s happening in Environmental Science and Public Policy.
Paul Moorcroft, Chair On behalf of the ESPP Board of Tutors
• We are also on LinkedIn, with a special group just for ESPP alumni, faculty and current students. Be sure to join this group to stay connected, view job postings, and join discussions.
ALUMNI LETTER | APRIL 2013
ESPP Alumni Survey Results This past fall we sent an alumni survey to 410 graduates from the classes of 1994 through 2012. We received 202 responses that gave us an insight into a variety of questions: What is your career/profession? Did you pursue graduate/professional school? How useful was your undergraduate education in terms of preparing you for futher study in the field? And more. The following is a summary of the responses, which we will use to shape our ESPP concentration framework moving forward.
Science & Policy Collide “I wouldn’t trade the ESPP experience for anything. It gave me a community—a really interesting group of people, places, ideas— that really fostered my growth at Harvard. One thing I valued was the chance to work with and get to know the faculty in ESPP. I was interested in exploring both the science side and the policy side, and was able to work on projects with cutting edge researchers in both areas. In ESPP this dove-tailed nicely with what I was doing in my classes, so it felt like everything was integrated and very relevant to the real world. Today I teach in a business school, and do research on how businesses and other organizations relate to a range of social problems. ESPP was actually great preparation for what I do now: it really got me thinking about how hard it is to apply scientific rigor to problems that have a heavy human component.” –Forrest Briscoe ‘95, Assistant Professor,The Pennsylvania State University
How Useful Was Your Education to Prepare you for Work / Further Study? Very Useful/Excellent (118) Thinking Across Disciplines/Strong Foundation Across Multiple Disciplines (18) Economics Courses / Policy Courses Useful (10) Breadth of Coursework – Well-Rounded Education (9) Solid Foundation in Analytical & Quantitative Skills (7) Critical Thinking Skills (5) Synthesize/analyze information from a variety of perspectives (5) Broad background in natural sciences has proven extremely valuable (4)
What graduate/professional school did you pursue?
ALUMNI LETTER | APRIL 2013
Were There Opportunities Within the ESPP Concentration That You Now Wish You Had Taken Advantage Of? Wish I interacted with faculty more -- foster closer/better relationships with faculty and visited office hours (30) Wish I had written a senior thesis/conducted research under a Professor (25) Wish I had taken more junior seminars (13) Wish I had taken more upper level science courses (10) Wish I had done Field Work (7) Wish I had taken more Policy & Economics courses (7) Wish ESPP had tracks (7) Wish I had taken advantage of a Semester Abroad (6) Wish had participated in more extra-curricular activities and events (6) Wish I had taken Statistics (4)
What is your career/profession?
ESPP’s Broad Foundation “I’ve really come to appreciate the depth and breadth of my ESPP education as a trial and appellate litigation attorney. The economics and public policy aspects were perhaps most foreign to me when I entered college, and I’ve found them to be particularly useful in reading and understanding legislation and the world around me every day. My concentration proved extremely valuable in defending a $100 million environmental legal malpractice action, but I also worked on antitrust matters that drew heavily on my economics background. ESPP gave me a phenomenal foundation on which to build specific knowledge as required by my career as a litigator. Moreover, my focus on environmental economics is something I think about nearly everyday when reading about world events.” –Amy Kobelski Trueblood ‘00, Trial and Appellate Litigation Attorney
ESPP IN THE FIELD
ALUMNI LETTER | APRIL 2013
ESPP On A Boat
Naz Beykan, Teaching Fellow
Wintersession–Field Trip Field Trip Leaders: Professor James McCarthy, Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography; Alicia Harley ‘08.
Spring Break in Florida The phrase “Spring Break in Florida” conjures up images of lounging at the beach. But for the ESPP 90C students, spring break meant something quite different. From March 13-20, undergraduates in Professor Richard T. T. Forman’s class on Ecology and Land Use Planning explored the competing ecological and economically-driven land uses in and around the Lake Wales Ridge of central Florida. In any one day, students decoded animal tracks, hiked through scrub oak forests and citrus rows, searched for gopher tortoises, collected samples along the shores of Lake Annie, and conducted ecological research on the neighboring MacArthur Agro-Ecology Research Center, a working cattle ranch. The final days were spent working in groups to create land use proposals for the region which balanced several human and ecological objectives. None of those who attended will forget the views of the Lake Wales Ridge from the top of fire tower or the glint of red alligator eyes by flashlight. –Anne Weber, ESPP 90C Teaching Fellow
Twenty concentrators and trip leaders met this past January in Key West, Florida and boarded the Sailing School vessel Corwith Cramer, operated by the Sea Education Association. The group sailed for six days around the gulf stream standing round-theclock shifts and taking advantage of state-of-the-art research tools, processing oceanographic samples, learning to set and strike sails, steer at the helm, and delving into celestial navigation. “It was an awesome experience, in terms of education, creating and solidifying friendships, and in more nebulous perspectives on life. Participating in scientific hands-on research and learning to operate a ship was a once in a lifetime opportunity.” — ESPP Concentrator