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Students in the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies have been remarkably successful in their careers after graduation. Many undergraduate students complete an internship near the end of their program, and many of these turn into full time job offers. An internship is an excellent way for a student to try a position, and for an employer to find suitable permanent employees by putting a nearly-graduated student in a temporary, often very responsible, position.

The following list includes mainly students from the department who are working in the environmental field. Unfortunately, we've lost track of many of our alumni, so this list is very incomplete. Alumni reading this list -- and not on it -- should let us know what you're doing now. There is a small form at the bottom of this page by which you can submit your information, or update, correct, or remove what is here.

Public Open Space and Natural Resource Agencies

Elected Leadership

  • Cary Park District (Illinois)
    • Phil Stanko, President

    Planning and Management

    •  Cook County Forest Preserve District (Illinois)
      • Chet Ryndak, Conservation Supervisor (retired)
    •   Kane County Forest Preserve District (Illinois)
      • Drew Ullberg, Director of Natural Resources
      • John DiFulvio, Area Manager
    • Lake County Forest Preserve District (Illinois)
      • James Anderson, Natural Resource Manager
    • McHenry County Conservation District (Illinois)
      • Ed Collins, Natural Resources Manager
      • Linda Balek, Biological Data Base Worker
    • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
      • Michael Martinez, Development and Acquisition Specialist
    • Will County Forest Preserve District (Illinois)
      • Marcella DeMauro, Executive Director

     Interpretation and Education

    •   Cook County Forest Preserve District (Illinois)
      • Irene Flebbe, Interpretive Naturalist, Sand Ridge Nature Center
      • Nancy Halliday, Interpretive Naturalist, River Trail Nature Center
      • Michelle Goldberg  Motlowitz, Interpretive Naturalist, River Trail Nature Center
    •   DuPage County Forest Preserve District (Illinois)
      • Margie Martinson, Interpretive Naturalist
    • McHenry County Conservation District (Illinois)
      • Patricia Runkels Sebastion, Education Services

    Governmental Environmental Regulatory and Planning Agencies

    • City of Chicago
      • Ray Carrell, Director of Environment, OHare Airport
      • Nicole Kamins, Dept of Environment
      • John Raffetto, Garfield Park Conservatory
    • Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission
      • David Clark, Research Department
      • Libby Hill, Associate Planner
      • Irene Hogstrom, Associate Planner
    • U.S. Department of Commerce Census Bureau
      • Adam Gibson, GIS specialist Federal Bureau of Fire Arms
    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region V
      • George Azevedo, Water Program
      • Pauline Gambill, Public Affairs
      • Mick Hans, Media Relations
      • Megan Gavin, Environmental Education Specialist
      • Michael Gentleman, Water Resources
      • George Opek, Environmental Scientist
      • Karen Rodriguez
      • Dolly Tong
      • Holiday Wirick

    Private Environmental, Consulting. Technology, and Service Firms

    •  Earth Tech (Environmental Consulting)
      • Teri Radke, Ecologist
    • Geoanalytics (Geographics Information Systems, etc.)
      • Peter Thumb, President
    • Huff and Huff, LaGrange, IL (environmental consultants)
      • James Novak, Senior Environmental Scientist
    • Kowalenko & Bilotti, Inc. (Management, Engineering, and Environmental  Consultants)
      • Tony Bilotti, Vice President and Technical Services  Director
      • Carolyn Cullen, researcher
    • Natural Areas Ecosystem Management
      • Randy Stowe, President
      • Karen Downing Stowe, Vice President
    • Paramatrix, environmental consulting firm, Seattle
      • Pat Togher, researcher
    • Red Buffalo Nursery
      • Jack Kaskel, Owner
    • Scientific Control Laboratories, Chicago
      • Dan Bell
    • Wight Consulting
      • Paul Jahn , GIS/Field Coordinator
    • Witness Tree Native Landscapes
      • Mary Zaander, Co-Owner

    Not-for Profit Environmentally Related Organizations

    •  Camp Maquoketa, Frankfort, IL
      • Tina Riley, Guest Services Manager
    • Chicago Botanic Garden
      • Susanne Masi, Research Botanist
      • Joan O’Shaughnessy, Ecologist
    • Friends Committee on Unity with Nature of North America (Headquarters in Burlington, VT)
      • Alice Howenstine, Member of Steering Committee
    • Friends of the Chicago River
      • Chris Parson, Manager of Education and Stewardship Programs
    • Lincoln Park Zoo
      • Andrew Henderson, Primate Area Supervisor
    • McHenry County Defenders (Illinois) (“Citizens Working for a Healthy Environment”)
      • Aimee Collins, Membership/Volunteer Coordinator
      • Alice Howenstine, Member of Board of Directors and Manager  of  McHenry Recycling Center (volunteer)
    • National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C.
      • Janice Wolf, Senior Researcher, NG International Cable Channel
    • Nature Conservancy (Illinois Chapter)
      • Laurel Ross, Director of Conservation Programs
    • Peggy Notebart Nature Museum
      • Cynthia Vasquez, Supervisor of Volunteer Programs
    • Prairie Club, (Chicago)
      • Lorry Davies, Environmental Consultant and former  Executive Director


    •  Motorola Corporation
      • Kregg Salvino, Environmental Safety and Health Manager
    • Weyerhaeuser Lumber
      • David Wing, Recycling


    • Joliet Junior College (Illinois)
      • John Schroeder, Chairman, Geography Department
    • North Side College Prep H.S.
      • Jack Giles, Chair, Dept. Social Studies (retired)
    • Northeastern Illinois University
      • Libby Hill, Faculty
    • Oakton Community College (Illinois)
      • David Rodgers, Faculty, Environmental Science
    • College of DuPage (Illiois)
      • Keith Yearman, Tenured Faculty

    International Resource Development

    •  Mexican Office of Ecology, Mexico City
      • David Salazar, Associate
    • Toledo Institute for Development and the Environment (TIDE) Punta Gorda, Belize
      • Wil Maheia, Executive Director

    Published Authors of Environmentally Related Books

    •  Richard Carter.  Cabin Fever, Dialogues with Nature.  St. Paul, MN: Galde Press.  1995.
    •  Andrea Jauck (with Larry Points).

    •   Assateague, Island of the Wild Ponies.  New York: Macmillan. 1993.
      ___________.   Barrier Island Birds.  Mariposa, CA: Sierra Press.  2000.
    •  Hill, Libby. The Chicago River: A Natural and Unnatural History.  Chicago: Lake Claremont Press. 2000
    • Susanne Masi (with Thomas M.Antonio).

    • The Sunflower Family in the Upper Midwest.  Indianapolis: Indiana Academy of Science.  2001.

    * Almost all of these students graduated with a degree in geography, environmental studies or and M.A. in G&ES.  A few are current student nearing completion.  Several did not complete their degrees, but associate themselves with the department anyway.

    Other Bachelor's and Master's degree graduates from Geography & Environmental Studies hold a wide variety of professional positions in their field. A sample of their job titles which was assembled at a different time from the list above, follows:

    Geographic specialist, U.S. Bureau of the Census
    Marketing Manager, MapPix
    Director of Environmental Services, O'Hare Airport
    Chief Radiation & Indoor Air, USEPA
    Environmental Consultant, AIG Consultants, Inc.
    Vice President, Kowalenko & Bilotti, Inc.
    Instructor of Outdoor Teacher Education, Northern Illinois U. Lorado Taft Campus
    GIS Analyst, Environmental Systems Design
    Environmental Board, Village of Vernon Hills
    Digitizer, Geonex (Des Plaines)
    Planning Analyst, Illinois Department of Transportation
    Superintendent of Revenue Facilities, Arlington Heights Park District
    Coordinator of Exhibit Interpretation, Cumberland Science Museum
    Military Environmental Specialist, Department of Military Affairs
    Cartographer, MapPix
    Environmental Enforcement Officer, DuPage County
    Project Administrator, Family Housing Development Corporation
    Habitat Restoration Project Manager, Kane County Forest Preserve District
    Natural Resource Manager, Lake County Forest Preserve District
    Director, National Crime Prevention Council, McGruff National Program
    Research Associate, Metro Chicago Information Center
    Senior Project Manager, Ogden Environmental And Energy Services
    Associate Greenways Director, Openlands Project
    Planning Technician, Thompson Dyke & Associates
    Vice President, Management Services, WMX Technologies, Env. Services
    Sales Manager, Jim Wright Tennis/Soccer USA
    Research Mgr./Attorney, IREU
    Real Estate Broker
    Naturalist I
    Assistant Planner & GIS Operator, Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission
    Dir. of Community Development
    Recycling Site Manager, McHenry County Defenders
    Program Specialist, USDA Food & Consumer Service
    IDAPP Financial Counselor
    Environmental Consultant
    Self-Employed Free-Lance Writer
    Chicago Teacher
    Taxonomy Technician, Chicago Botanic Garden
    Senior Communications Analyst
    Former Budget Analyst at the U. of C.
    Earth Science Instructor, Riverside-Brookfield H.S.
    Instructor of Geography, Northeastern Illinois University
    Environmental Protection Agency Specialist, USEPA
    Teacher, Chicago Board of Ed - Goethe School
    Relator, Century 21
    Associate, A.T. Kearney, Inc.
    Teacher, Gage Park High School
    Teacher of Geography, Von Steuben High School
    Verification Technician, Field Museum
    Administrative Asst., Poersch Metal Mfg. Co.
    Realtor, Residential Salesperson
    Bioreserve Stewardship Director, The Nature Conservancy
    VP Management Services, Waste Management Inc.
    Supt. of Conservation, Forest Preserve District of Cook County
    Public Relations/Sales
    Laboratory Manager, Dames & Moore
    Assistant Operations Coordinator
    Registered Sanitarian
    Environmental Planner
    Research Geographer, Rand McNally
    Illinois Film Office
    Secretary, Dept. of Economics, G&ES
    Social Scientist, USDA Forest Service - NCFES
    Project Director, Fluor Daniel
    Electrical Construction
    Senior Airport Properties Representative, O'Hare International Airport 

    CONTACT E-Howenstine@neiu.edu or call (773) 442-5647


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