Environmental Studies
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Alumni Achievements

Matthew Keiper

Matthew Keiper, '15

Major: Engineering Physics

Current Position: Volunteer teacher at a secondary school in rural Tanzania

Matt is hoping to connect local environmental restoration and agriculture NGOs to the community to address growing environmental challenges. He worked previously for the City of Spokane Environmental Programs Department analyzing city carbon emissions and contributing to the most recent Spokane City Carbon Emissions Inventory.

Why Whitworth? Matt was attracted to Whitworth because of the strong science department, Whitworth’s commitment to following Jesus, and the striking campus community. He developed friendships with staff, students and faculty and refined his personal passions, one of them being biblically based environmentalism. Matt says “Perhaps most important, I received an education that prepared me to be a thinking and caring Christian in the world."

Whitworth Activities: Matt participated in competitive and recreational sports including track and field, Bangarang Club Ultimate Frisbee, and many intramurals. He served as a resident assistant for McMillan Hall and as the sustainability coordinator in student government his senior year. He was an active member of the student club Kipos: Students Advocating Environmental Justice, and he performed in Whitworth Men's Chorus and Whitworth One Acts.

Influential Whitworth Experiences: "The experiences that most shaped me revolved around community and environmental justice. I joined a group of friends to charter and build a community garden club on campus that turned into Kipos: Students Advocating Environmental Justice. This led me into a world of passionate people striving to address issues of poverty, social injustice and environmental degradation. My interest in environmental issues gained a foundation in biblical teaching when I took a Jan Term class in the Cascades, Ecology and the Bible, with Dr. Jonathan Moo. I am a firm believer that honest Christian teaching should lead Christ followers to the forefront of protecting creation in order to honor God and serve the poor."

Career Goals: "My interests are still a bit varied. I found out that a degree does not come with a God-inspired career path written on a fortune cookie. I'm hoping to combine my technical physics and engineering background with my passion for environmental and community justice to best serve the Kingdom. I am currently exploring graduate education in sustainable architecture or atmospheric science."

Catherine Ullery

Catherine Ullery, '15

Major: English
Minor: Environmental Studies
Current Position: Sustainability and site maintenance at Grand Teton National Park
Quote:  "The education that I received from my environmental studies minor gave me the foundation and base knowledge necessary to further my education through fieldwork and research in the U.S. Park Service. Because of this, I was able to qualify for the position this summer at Grand Teton, where I'll be a maintenance worker with a special focus in sustainability. "
Influential Whitworth Course: “I would say that the most applicable class I took throughout my environmental studies minor was Dr. Grant Casady’s climate-change biology class, because it focused so much on real-world issues and really broadened and deepened my knowledge of the impacts of climate change in a variety of ecosystems.”

Here's what some other recent Whitworth graduates are doing with their environmental studies minors:

  • Seth Flanders is a water-resource technician for the Spokane Conservation District, where he develops stream restoration and monitoring projects in Spokane County.

  • Kevin Gleim is studying environmental law at Willamette University. He hopes to practice law and policy for the U.S. government.