Free College Admissions Essays: Environmental Studies Program

Free College Admissions Essays: Environmental Studies Program
Since the release of Rachel Carson? s Silent Spring in the 1960? s, mankind has expanded its quest to come to grips with the competing virtues of human economic entropy and of maintaining the integrity and diversity of the natural environment. As awareness of environmental degradation has increased, so has the realization of the complexity of interconnected webs of relationships among organisms and the physical and chemical environment. With this awareness, we have also come to realize that environmental problems are not easily fixed by simply focusing on a single problem with no analysis of other issues.
This tendency to blindly solve environmental problems without understanding the full complexity of the problem was evident in the Environmental Protection Agency? s (epa) recent mandate that Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (mtbe) be a required ingredient in gasoline formulas with the goal of increasing combustion efficiency. A fuel oxygenate, mtbe enhances the octane in gasoline and decreases carbon monoxide emission by increasing burning efficiencies. In its haste to declare mtbe as a required ingredient in gasoline, the epa failed to consider a basic chemical property of mtbe and its long-term effects upon the environment. Because mtbe is highly water-soluble, it dissolves in water, leading to higher concentrations of mtbe in many lakes in the California Sierra Nevada mountains and in many groundwater supplies. Hence, by addressing only one component of a system separately, the epa failed to see the ramifications of our apparent solution. This myopic approach to environmental remediation commonly subverts our good intentions to solve environmental problems and demonstrates a lack of understanding of how inter-related systems work. It is my goal to aid in our understanding of environmental pollution on a global scale by not only researching the fate and transport of contaminants, but also by analyzing how our current philosophies and policies affect these problems. By applying an interdisciplinary approach to both the specific scientific and technical aspects of a problem and by thoroughly analyzing social and cultural factors, I believe I can more effectively in analyze the true extent of our pollution problem and help to determine an appropriate response.

In preparation for this work, my undergraduate degree in environmental studies has provided me with a solid foundation in both the sciences and state and federal environmental policy. My undergraduate emphasis in hazardous materials has given me a broad knowledge of the types of chemical releases common in both developed and undeveloped countries and their chemical and physical effects upon the environment. Through graduate and post-graduate research, I hope to further enhance this knowledge by studying the effects of chemicals commonly used in industry cycles on specific environmental compartments such as bay wetlands and partitioning to other compartments such as xxxx. In my graduate study, I would also like to expand my undergraduate study of environmental law by increasing my knowledge of the law to the area of land use and its relationship to contaminant fate and transport.

In addition to my academic background, I believe that my work experience will also play a key role in helping me find success in my graduate and post-graduate studies. For the last ten years I have held a number of management positions in business. While these positions have not specifically related to environmental work, the experience has provided me with invaluable insight into how both large and small companies operate. The perspective of business management is badly needed in the environmental field where time and again we discover that environmental compliance can best be achieved by understanding business practices and tailoring compliance measures so that companies can remain profitable and be environmentally responsible.

In addition to understanding the perspectives of business management, my work experience has provided me with other skills that will contribute to my success in the graduate program. In 1986,I founded a retail product/services company, Bay Area Audio, which specialized in commercial media center design and installation. As the company? s president over a six-year period, I was responsible for managing all aspects of operations, including marketing and customer relations. This experience provided me with the opportunity to conduct market research to cultivate new customers, engage in media relations, grow profitability while maintaining budget accountability, and manage large groups of people. As a result of the marketing campaigns that I developed, revenues increased from $100,000 in 1986 to over $2 million in 1991. I believe the experience in market research and media relations will be particularly helpful in the environmental field since many environmental issues involve public participation.

In 1991,I sold my interest in Bay Area Audio to gain experience in the high-technology sector. Since 1991,I have held a number of management positions for computer hardware and software companies. This experience has been invaluable in providing me the opportunity to be involved in leading edge Internet software technology. As the main purpose of the Internet and internet-related software is to enhance communications, I have played a key role in developing products that provide people with one of today? s most valuable resources ? information. Working in this market has also given me the opportunity to manage large software projects involving dozens of people. Of particular relevance to my pursuit of post-graduate environmental studies, is my experience developing global scale corporate websites for companies such as Silicon Graphics, UltraTech Stepper, and Philips Semiconductors. These projects involved working closely with the particular company? s environmental, health, and safety departments to effectively communicate health and safety information to thousands of employees. I believe that the Internet will be an invaluable tool in both the research and implementation of environmental solutions and that my experience in the computer field will prove invaluable towards this end.

In conclusion, I believe that I have much to offer San Jose State? s graduate environmental studies program. To successfully come to grips with environmental contamination, we must understand how a specific problem fits within a larger framework from both an ecological and social perspective. I believe that the combination of my educational background with my work experience will provide me with the essential tools to substantially contribute to workable and successful solutions. Given the opportunity to pursue graduate work in environmental studies, I will contribute to effectively bringing new information to light on environmental problems and their solutions, accounting for all related cultural, industrial and environmental factors. Overall, I believe that San Jose State can help me achieve my goals by providing the advanced tools and knowledge necessary to focus on environmental problems utilizing an interdisciplinary approach so as to have an overall positive net impact on protecting the environment for generations to come.

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