Alumni

Alumni profiles

 Chris_Menges

Chris Menges, Class 2012

Chris Menges is a Data Research and Project Planner for the City of Aspen.  In this role, he works on the nationally recognized Canary Initiative to assist the city in reducing their greenhouse gases by 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 for both the city AND the community.  This innovative project also addresses the city’s adaptation and resiliency planning to address the many challenges of Climate Change.

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How did the CSS Program prepare you for your current position?

The CSS program provided a strong foundation in engineering, forestry, economics and climate science.  With the CSS program, I was able to build on my background in climate and energy advocacy to address a myriad of factors that influence a local communities’ response to climate change.  I also appreciated graduating with applied, marketable skills in greenhouse gas accounting, working with diverse audiences and summarizing complex policy issues to assist people in making informed decisions.

What advice do you have for prospective students interested in the climate field?

Embrace and build on your unique perspective and set of skills and    strengths. Your passion combined with a CSS education and experience will        separate you from the applicant pool. Employers seek out innovative   thinkers that can apply climate science to a variety of applications.

Where did you do your professional internship while you were in the CSS program?

I worked with Climate Solutions, a nonprofit organization based in the Pacific Northwest that is working to address the root causes of environmental degradation and promote thriving sustainable communities.  My position involved writing and submitting comments on EPA’s proposed Greenhouse Gas regulations and the Oregon Energy Action plan.  I had a great opportunity to work directly with advocates, citizens and staff to inform energy policy.  It gave me great experience to understand how to inform policy and ultimately influence behavior. 

 Kaitlin_Meszaros

Kaitlin Meszaros, Class of 2012

Kaitlin Meszaros is an Air Quality Professional with Kleinfelder, an engineering and science consulting firm in the Greater Denver area. Kaitlin’s role requires that she understand state air compliance, permitting and federal air compliance requirements. She with a team of interdisciplinary professionals to quantify emissions and understand the human health impacts of chemicals and other environmental contaminants.

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How did the CSS program prepare you for your current position?

Every day I use the skills I gained in the CSS program and my undergraduate Engineering expertise to decipher NEPA policies, run atmospheric models and generate greenhouse gas reports. The CSS program gave me a deeper understanding of atmospheric dynamics that I use to devise data sets and report information to our clients.

What advice do you have for prospective students interested in the climate field?

“ Try to volunteer for anything!” While in the program, I thought I wanted to be in the renewables field. After attending some industry conferences (as a volunteer in the program), I learned that consulting could give me the ability to work outdoors, work on diverse projects and face new challenges.

Where did you do your professional internship while you were in the CSS program?

I was an Environmental Health and Safety intern for GE Aviation in New York. My internship focused on improving their air filtration and exhaust system while incorporating sustainability with financial incentives.

 Erik_Green

Erik Green, Class of 2011

Erik Green is a Software Developer at the Climate Change Science Institute of Oakridge National Laboratory. Erik writes software and manages and facilitates the process of archiving climate data and maintaining the data integrity for the scientific community.

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How did the CSS program prepare you for your current position?

I came to the CSS program with a background in Information Technology and working primarily in the banking community. I wanted to find a way to apply my information technology background to the climate industry. The CSS degree gave me an understanding of the science of climate change so that I am able to understand the importance and application of the data I manage at the Climate Change Science Institute.

What advice do you have for prospective students interested in the climate field?

Climate science is a complex field. As you learn about the many applications of climate science, try to narrow your focus and develop your expertise so that you can target your potential employers and offer relevant experience. I took courses in LEED building design along with the core classes in climate science and greenhouse gas accounting.

Where did you do your professional internship while you were in the CSS program?

I worked with CSS Advisory Board member Dan Kalafatas at 3Degrees. The experience gave me the opportunity to learn about the business of climate change. I provided IT support by generating reports with data related to climate policy and the renewables industry. I was able to help them use the data they were already collecting in new ways to inform their decision-making and value they pass along to their clients.

Where Are Our Alumni?

Graduates of the Climate Science and Solutions program have gone on to pursue various career paths. While the majority of our graduate go on to work in the private sector, many have joined the workforce in other areas and assist their organizations in understanding and responding to climate change:

Where Are Our Alumni?

Graduates are working in positions with the following organizations:

Private

BioMerieux

Hawaii Energy

Noresco

SCA Tissue

Solar City

Xanterra Parks and Resorts

NGO

Dine Care

IRRI Mexico

Government

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality

City of Aspen and Pitkin County

Northern Arizona University Facilities Department

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Pima County Arizona

All CSS graduates have access to working with the CSS Career Services to review their resumes, cover letters and other application materials. CSS Career Services has helped graduates to transition to more senior positions, to find a position in their home state and apply their CSS skills to a wide variety of organizations.