Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences

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Alumni Update: Three ESS alums tackle public policy and environmental issues in strategic consulting firm

EnviroIssues is a consulting firm that specializes in strategic communications and public engagement, helping people understand and participate in decisions that affect them. The firm aims to make the natural and built communities where we live, work, and play better places by improving communications, outreach, and public involvement in critical projects and decisions. Based out of Seattle, they also have an office in Portland and are just starting out in the Bay Area. They are very lucky to employ five stellar Broncos out of 100 total staff, and three of those five are our own ESS majors!

Ever since the days of nature camp, Katie DeLeuw (B.S., Anthropology, Environmental Studies minor, ‘00) has been interested in the relationship between people and the earth, particularly regarding individuals’ understanding of how their actions affect their surroundings. After graduating from SCU and supporting Professor Kealhofer’s (Anthropology and ESS) archaeological research in Turkey, Katie headed down to Santa Barbara to pursue a master’s degree in environmental science and management. She worked for a non-profit in water advocacy and watershed education, supporting public participation in processes ultimately resulting in healthier streams, protected property, and better habitat for fish. From there, she moved to the Pacific Northwest and began her career with EnviroIssues in Seattle, where she leads communications and outreach efforts. Her experience is focused on managing public participation for stormwater, wastewater, park and transportation projects with a wide range of community interest-- from community-supported conceptual design processes to controversial environmental analyses and highly-impactful construction. She also encourages staff to bike commute by captaining one of EnviroIssues’ bike to work teams. She recently relocated with EnviroIssues back the Bay Area to lead efforts to expand the company in California.

Rochelle Stowe (B.A. Environmental Studies and Communication, ‘10) wasn't ready to leave Santa Clara after graduating in 2010. After being awarded grant funding for research in Costa Rica, Rochelle accompanied professor Michelle Bezanson (Anthropology) and postdoctoral fellow Sean Watts (ESS) to conduct a study across the country's various research stations. She moved back home to Tacoma, where she worked to co-publish her work, and months later presented her research to students and professors on campus. Her new goal was to work in a private environmental firm. Lisa Kealhofer was at the presentation and put her in touch with Katie DeLeuw. One coffee and three interviews later, Rochelle was working at EnviroIssues and started a career that has lasted almost five years. Rochelle has designed strategies for how to communicate and involve the public in building important infrastructure for the city and state. She has supported heavy construction projects on highways, siting transmission lines through dense neighborhoods and wastewater projects that replaced 100-year-old pipes. Recently, she helped the Puget Sound area’s regional transit agency, Sound Transit, develop one of the most successful websites in EnviroIssues' history. Thousands of people engaged online to decide where light rail transit would go next. That transit package, developed through years of public involvement, is now being decided by Puget Sound voters in November. Rochelle is a project manager at EnviroIssues and leads teams on local projects throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Harrison Price (Environment Studies, ’16) graduated early from SCU in December 2015 and was ready to get to work solving the issues he had learned about in school. After moving to Seattle, Harrison worked for Unico Properties in the Department of Sustainability analyzing the many benefits of sustainability in the built environment. This work, along with ESS classes and other internships, prepared him to start his career at EnviroIssues. Since starting at EnviroIssues in March, Harrison has worked with public and private organizations on projects which include: road improvements and bike lanes, strategic conservation planning, energy reliability, and more. He enjoys having a hand in the projects and policies that shape the region both now, and in years to come.

Alumni story