Meet an Alum: Emily Halter, EPA

Emily Halter

 

 

We asked alumna Emily Halter (Class of 2013) some questions about her career and time at ENRP. See what she had to say below...

 

 

 

 

 

Current job position: Economist at the Environmental Protection Agency, currently working on stormwater and wastewater issues

Hometown: King George, VA

Undergraduate School and Major:  Virginia Tech (go Hokies!), Economics

Why Emily chose ENRP:  I was already living in Washington, DC when I decided to pursue a graduate degree, so I started by looking at environmental programs at universities in the area. The ENRP program at the George Washington University seemed like a great fit for me because the curriculum was so multi-disciplinary. The program requires coursework in environmental science, which was important to me as a non-science major, environmental law, economics, and public policy, as well as flexibility in electives and a robust capstone experience. These are all critical areas of study for becoming a successful environmental professional.

How ENRP prepared Emily for her professional career: The ENRP program has helped me prepare for a career in the environmental field in various ways. The variety of coursework provided me the subject matter background that is fundamental to understanding today’s environmental issues. In addition, the capstone project enable us to engage in a real-world experience in assessing and recommending solutions for a real environmental problem. As a team of students, we were able to work with a number of different stakeholders who had various understandings and perspectives on the issue, which is a common challenge in the environmental field. The professional growth, knowledge, and skills gained from this experience can be applied almost universally to many situations and is very appealing to employers.

Why Emily enjoys her current job: I am very proud to serve my country as a public servant along with many dedicated colleagues who are extremely committed to protecting public health and the environment for the American people. I am currently working on stormwater and wastewater issues. The thing I enjoy most about my job is that there is always something to learn, whether it’s the intricacies of the wastewater treatment process, how communities are using green infrastructure to improve their neighborhoods while also managing stormwater, or best practices for controlling pollutants from construction site runoff.

Emily's capstone project: With the Department of Energy in the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, Emily's group worked on researching the history of uranium mining and made recommendations for improving community relations after uranium pollution incidents.

Emily's favorite aspect of ENRP: The capstone project

Emily's tips for living, studying, and working in Washington, DC: Living here is expensive, there’s no getting around that- find some good roommates and you’ll be golden. As far as studying, know what you’re passionate about and try to create an educational experience that will lead you to a job in that field. For working, look for organizations that do the type of work you’re interested in and apply for or inquire about internships, or simply ask to meet with some of their staff to talk about your interests. This type of career groundwork can often lead to a rewarding job.

Emily's career tips for those interested in environmental policy: Working in the environmental field requires you to be very dynamic. Often one needs to know not only science, economics, policy, and engineering, but also work with people and understand that not everyone sees environmental problems or their solutions in the same way. You must have patience and flexibility while also applying science and facts to reach the most beneficial outcome for all. 

Fun fact about Emily: Last year I ran my first marathon!