Graduation to Vocation: Environmental Scientist
Alex Darr of Thomasville, NC, has always had a passion for the outdoors. Although he started his NC State career in a different college, he eventually found his home in the College of Natural Resources and the Environmental Technology and Management major. After he graduates on May 12, he will combine his love of nature and the knowledge he’s gained at the College of Natural Resources to work for a civil engineering firm. Below, Darr reflects on his time at the College of Natural Resources and speaks about his new job.
Why did you choose your field of study?
Many of my summers growing up were spent in the Rocky Mountain region of Montana on my grandparents’ cattle ranch. I can remember always thinking how beautiful it was and how we need to protect our environment so generations after us can enjoy the same things we currently do. I love being outside in the elements, and the Environmental Technology and Management major gave me the skills to make my love of the outdoors a career.
Tell us about your new job.
I will be an environmental scientist at Pond and Company in Atlanta, GA. I will serve as an internal consultant for Pond and Company’s civil engineering practice areas including energy, aviation, construction, etc. My duties will include wetland delineation, permitting, Army Corp compliance, NEPA compliance and environmental assessment.
What’s your favorite memory from your time at the College of Natural Resources?
My favorite experience from my time as a College of Natural Resources student would have to be serving as an Ambassador for the College. It was an amazing opportunity getting to work with high school and college students with helping them find their path. Many of our events involved getting students out into the field and seeing what we do at CNR on a daily basis. Anyone that knows me knows that I have a passion for streams and water quality, so I would often lead activities with surface water quality and conversations about stream health. It is so awesome to see the excitement and interest in young students who have a passion for the environment in the same ways I do.
Tell us about a faculty member who has influenced you.
Terry Litzenberger has been very influential during my time in the College of Natural Resources. I was an on-campus transfer from another college, and I was struggling to find my place at NC State. The first day we met, I was walking the halls of Jordan looking at information on the Environmental Technology and Management major and considering my options. She noticed me and came out of her office and offered to discuss the major and my options, which ended up being more than an hour of discussion. That kind of attitude is very typical of her. She is so supportive and has helped direct me when I faced obstacles and challenges in my education. She has always been so supportive of finding opportunities and cheering us on in our victories. Terry is the reason I chose CNR and chose Environmental Technology and Management, and I couldn’t be more appreciative.