Melanie Haveman '05
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR MAJOR?
I came to Calvin with interest in all of the physical sciences so an environmental studies major was logical because I could take biology, chemistry, and geology. My intro geology class ended up being my favorite so I kept taking geology courses until I had to decide if I would switch to a straight Geology degree, but just in time Calvin introduced the new major of Environmental Geology, which fit me perfectly.
MEMORIES OF CALVIN
My favorite courses and fondest memories were those including field trips. I was able to go to the gypsum mine several times, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Kentucky, Montana, and Hawaii. These are all places that I would never experienced on my own except that I was a geology major.
WHAT AT CALVIN PREPARED YOU FOR YOUR CAREER?
Calvin gave me a good background in the science and writing skills that I use to evaluate permits and reports. One thing that I wish that I had learned more about is environmental law.
LIFE AFTER CALVIN
After I graduated, I continued my internship with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) through the summer. Next I went to Western Michigan University for my masters where I mostly studied wetlands.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW?
I recently started working for the U.S. EPA Water Bureau, Watersheds and Wetlands Division in Chicago. My job title is hydrologist, and I enforce the Clean Water Act Section 404 Rule, which states that you need a permit to fill or dredge waters of the U.S. (like wetlands). My favorite part of my work is knowing that I'm actually helping to protect aquatic environments with the work that I do.
ADVICE TO CURRENT STUDENTS
Get as much field or lab experience as possible, and take advantage of the internship requirement because you will learn a lot.