Emma-Kate Stecker

What are your majors? Civil and environmental engineering with a certificate in environmental studies

Expected graduation: May 2022

What inspired your interest in the environment and/or community? My family has a long history of engaging in the outdoors and so it was easy for me to find interest in the environment at a young age. I was always attracted to outdoor activities, but, when I began learning the science behind our environment, I quickly became fascinated with ecological interactions. The more I learned about these delicate systems, the more I realized how connected we are to our own surrounding environments. I was motivated to find ways to improve our impact, which inspired me to pursue a degree in civil engineering.

Since then, I have explored ways I can facilitate change in my own community. I have worked on local and international projects to provide infrastructural and ecological improvements to create a more sustainable future for the local communities. After I graduate, I will be focusing on water-related projects as a civil engineer in Idaho where I will be assisting in water pollution management across the Pacific Northwest.

What would you say (or do you say) to other students about CESP and the Nelson Institute? CESP is an amazing opportunity to find a community within a class. I have never experienced a more welcoming and inclusive academic environment. Everyone comes from different majors and backgrounds, and yet we all come together under our interest in the community and environment. With CESP being a multi-semester program, you get an opportunity to know your classmates and team members. I really enjoy the topics that we cover and the books we read. They provide so many great learning opportunities that lead to really interesting conversations.

Something few people know about you: Despite always wanting to be outside, I’ve never been to a national park! I hope to change this soon though!

Something else about you? I enjoy getting outside in any way possible. You will often find me hiking, biking, rock climbing, and skiing with any free time I manage to have!