Anne Burnham '13

Major: Biology and Environmental Studies

Graduate degree: Masters of Science in Ecology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

What do you do for a living?

I am currently a Biologist with the Parsons Corporation in the Syracuse, N.Y. office. My main job duties include day to day activities associated with the management and implementation of a large-scale, regulated lake remediation program in Central New York. The program includes components such as fish tissue and community monitoring, surface water monitoring, monitored natural recovery and habitat restoration (along with many other components).

How did your experience at Saint Michael's help prepare you for your career?

As a Biology and Environmental Studies double major, I was exposed to a variety of course work across disciplines taking classes in everything from the sciences, to humanities and politics. Having a diverse background has allowed me to think about problems from different angles, as well as be able to cross disciplines in the work place. I first learned about remediation projects (which I now work on) and the legislation/history that began those types of clean-up projects in one of my Environmental Studies classes at Saint Mike's. I learned much of the theory from those classes, and the science behind it in my Biology classes.

What is your favorite memory from your time at St. Mike's?

There are too many to choose from! One of my favorite memories would have to be the Mount Mansfield hike (and many of the other field trips) as a part of Professor Hope's Ecosystem Ecology course. Professor Hope is so knowledgeable about the various ecosystems, unique aspects of the systems, as well as the plant and animal identifications. His (as well as all the other Biology department professors) passion for teaching his students made the class all the more interesting and memorable.  

How have you continued to give back to the community after leaving St. Mike's?

Since my graduation, I have been volunteering at a local canine rescue facility that is located at a county correctional facility. I also volunteer with a local conservation group helping to educate the community about the revitalized habitats of Central New York. I have found that, very similar to my time at Saint Mikes, having a healthy balance between work/school and giving back to the community is very rewarding -- there is nothing like seeing the happy faces of people taking their new dog home, or seeing the face of children who live in cities and have never touched a fish hold one for the first time.

Do you have any advice for students at St. Mike's?

I would highly encourage any current (or incoming student for that matter) to seek out varied summer internship programs. I had a couple of different internships (both summer and during the semester) while I was at Saint Mike's. They all taught me different lessons and skill sets, and helped me to learn more about myself and what I wanted to do after graduation from SMC. Even if they seem a little outside the box of what you think you want to do, go for it! You never know what you might end up loving until you try it. Also, study abroad!! 

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