What Our Students Say
Angie Maranville was a MA student in the Environmental Planning and Management Concentration.
- I first became aware of the Environmental Studies department when I enrolled in Women and the Environment, a 100-level course at UIS. The quality of the course material, the breadth of the acquired knowledge, and the professor’s evident passion for her subject convinced me to inquire into the master’s program. As a sociology/anthropology undergraduate, I was inspired to find a broad interdisciplinary approach to environmental issues. With curriculum that is trend setting and faculty that are academically accomplished, easily accessible, and highly motivated, the Environmental Studies Master’s of Arts program at UIS was where I wanted to be.
Although I was initially drawn to the humanities concentration, after serving as the Graduate Assistant for the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Laboratory for a year, during which I received a tuition waiver, environmental planning and GIS became my goal. I have found that my expanding GIS skills are not only highly marketable, but are also a valuable research tool with a high range of flexibility and analytical ability.
I have always been concerned with issues that are unjust, especially those issues that affect communities with less political and social equity. My thesis advisor fanned this nascent interest into my initial research into environmental and social injustice within Illinois. It is my hope that my ongoing research concerning current Superfund sites in Illinois can be used by community planners and policymakers throughout Illinois to ameliorate existing injustices and to avoid planning pitfalls that might arise in the future.
Stacey Thomas was a MA student in the Natural Resources and Sustainable Development option. She was a GPSI with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
- I was attracted to the Environmental Studies department at UIS because it is designed to give students an understanding of environmental issues within a larger societal context. The Master of Arts program seemed like a good fit with my undergraduate background in environmental history. My placement as a Graduate Public Service Intern at the Illinois EPA adds to my professional experience while I earn my degree at UIS – and provides a tuition waiver
I am interested in increasing community knowledge of environmental issues in order for people to make a positive connection between protecting the environment and increasing their quality of life. I believe environmental issues are community issues because the environment provides a literal common ground for people to come together and work to protect.
As an Americorps volunteer with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, I talked with elementary school classes and lake associations about how to reduce non-point source pollution around their homes and neighborhoods. As the Environmental Affairs Coordinator for Southeast Chicago Development Commission, I often served as a liaison between local citizens, businesses, and government agencies on environmental justice issues in an industrial neighborhood.