Pioneer Profile

Emily Koster '20

Major: Environmental Science and Freshwater Sciences
Minor: Political Science

What made you choose this major?

I’ve always been passionate about sustainability and ecology. Throughout my childhood and my high school years, I wanted to be many things: a marine biologist, a park ranger, even a geographer. The image of my ideal future may have shifted many times, but I always wanted to be a scientist. I spent a majority of my time debating whether I wanted to work in a research lab or if I wanted to be in the outdoors, collecting data and being surrounded by nature. With environmental science, I have many opportunities in different scientific fields and multiple work environments, all while focusing on my passion of conservation.

How has what you’ve learned prepared you for your future?

I’m currently on track for the 3+2 program with Carroll and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Science. The extra courses I’ve taken or will be taking in biology, chemistry and physics have helped me develop skills critical for graduate school and beyond. The classes I’ve taken for my political science minor have also helped me understand the policy and social side of environmental issues.

What opportunities have you had to work closely with a faculty member and what impact has that had on your education?

The small class sizes Carroll offers is one of the main reasons I chose to go to school here. The personal, one-on-one relationships I already have with professors make me strive to do my work better and go beyond what is expected of me. Professors, like my advisor Dr. Kelly LaBlanc, have helped me find my path within my major, encouraged me to continue onto graduate school, and guided me to extra work opportunities and internships in my field of studies.

What’s one of the most unique experiences you’ve had relating to the coursework in your major?

I’ve taken several field trips for my Natural Resource Management course that have been very memorable. We went to a local Waukesha park and were taught forest management techniques. We also journeyed to a facility to watch a fishery crew process trout. These trips illustrate careers that are available to myself and other environmental science majors, while also teaching valuable skills and information in a more hands-on approach.

How has Carroll enriched your growth as a person outside of the skills you’re learning in the classroom?

Even though I am currently on an accelerated three-year program, I still have room in my schedule to add a political science minor. I’ve also been involved in various student organizations, and have recently become more involved in the Carroll theatre program. To students in any major, I’d recommend exploring all their passions while at Carroll. There are plenty of ways to mold your schedule to your needs so that you have enough time for other majors or minors, while also having enough time for student organizations. Just because you may be involved in the sciences, doesn’t mean you can’t also be involved in the arts and vice versa.

Why did you choose to attend Carroll University?

Carroll’s environmental science program has solidified what I want to do in the future and has shown me more opportunities than I had thought available. The small campus and close relationships I have with my professors have helped push me in the right direction. With their help, I know that my major and track is within my interests and passions.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’d encourage new students to explore all their options at Carroll. It’s incredibly easy to add your interests to your schedule, whether that be a double major or joining a student organization. When you’re picking out your general credits for Pio Core, pick classes that look intriguing to you. You’ll never know what new interests or hobbies you may discover. The structure of Carroll really helps you discover what you like and what you’re good at: utilize and embrace it.

Learn more about the Freshwater Sciences program

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