Environmental Sciences Spotlight: Kyle Church

Each month, the Environmental Sciences Academic Program highlights a current student who represent the diverse and involved student population within the program. This month, June, the spotlight focuses on, Kyle Church.

Kyle churchName: Kyle Church

Focal Area: Geology

Year: Senior

Hometown: Asheville, NC

1.What lead you to select Environmental Sciences at NC State?

To make a long story short, I selected ES because I loved the interdisciplinary nature of the degree. I liked how important law, economics, politics and policy was, I liked all of the fields of science that is key to understanding environmental issues and I also felt that the way the degree program was setup at NCSU allowed students to become very well rounded environmental scientists, each unique to one another due to the ability to choose a focal area. The core of the degree is science which I love but it does a great job of incorporating aspects of the world outside of a laboratory that are key to actually solving real world environmental problems.

2. What is your favorite aspect about the Environmental Science program?

My favorite aspect of the program is the ability to create a focal area within environmental sciences. I believe this degree plan was crafted in a way that allows students to explore all corners of environmental sciences. The degree format makes graduates extremely marketable to certain sectors because it produces interdisciplinary thinkers that have the necessary background to understand and solve complex environmental problems.

3. What has been your favorite course at NC State?

It is hard to choose a single favorite course, but I will say that U.S. Environmental Law and Politics (PS 320), Geomorphology (MEA 481), Soils, Environmental Quality and Global Challenges (SSC 455) and Conservation of Natural Resources (FW 221) have been the group of classes that have impacted me the most. Those four courses offer perspectives on environmental challenges that really molded the way I think of environmental sciences and offered some very important tools for me to be successful as an environmental professional.

4. How did you select your focal area (if selected)?

I selected my focal area after taking MEA 100, Earth Systems Science. That course gave me a peek into the world of geoscience, to include geology, meteorology and oceanography. I was fascinated with the earth processes that were happening right below my feet and the interconnectedness of the system as a whole. I was blown away by the timescales of geology and intrigued by the fusion of biological, chemical and physical forces at that have shaped earth for the past ~4.54 billion years. As I took a couple more geology and environmental sciences courses I became very interested in water quality and resource management so I have tried to focus on that subject within my focal area.

5. What is something you wish someone had told you when you were a freshman?

I wish that I had not resisted change as much as I did. As a freshman I was fairly certain I knew exactly what I wanted to study and who I wanted to be after I graduated. The classes I have taken and the people I have met have changed a lot of views that I once held as rock solid and I believe my experiences have made me a much more well-rounded and thoughtful person than I once was. If I hadn’t resisted this change so much as a freshman I could have perhaps broadened my horizons even more. So, in short, my advice to freshman is: Be open minded, think from more than one point of view and try to soak up as much information as possible from a variety of sources. Take the time to understand viewpoints that you may not agree with. Debate with your friends, share ideas and if you are presented with information that is especially persuasive, do not feel scared to change your views on subjects.

6. What is your favorite thing to do outside of the classroom?

I love to target shoot, ride motorcycles and I love building PCs and playing video games on them with my friends.