Support NRES

Club Activities and Events

club involvement GET INVOLVED!
Check out CLUB events...

Preparing passionate leaders driving change in sustainability and stewardship of the environment.

  —Our Mission

M.S. Environmental Sciences and Management Students


Maxwell Taylor

Although I was born in San Diego, CA, I’ve spent most of my adult life living in Washington State. My undergraduate degree is in Environmental Science and Geology from Central Washington University. I am currently working on my Environmental Sciences and Management here at Cal Poly, and my project is on the effects of fuel-reduction mitigation strategies on wildfire emissions in California. I hope to pursue a career in environmental consulting for local and state governments in the Pacific Northwest upon graduation.

Xander Taylor

I am from the city of Long Beach and the greater Los Angeles county. My undergraduate degree was a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Biology earned from Cal Poly Pomona. I am studying under the hydrology emphasis.  My Project will interpret and understand the dynamics of key water quality parameters that can impair the health of steelhead trout in estuaries local to San Luis Obispo.  My goal after graduation would be to work with the State Parks or other Conservation organizations as a field researcher.

Braden Povah

I am from the Agoura Hills area of Los Angeles County, California. I received a B.S. in Forestry and Natural Resource Management from Cal Poly in 2019 with a concentration in hydrology that introduced me to soil science. I decided to pursue an M.S. in Environmental Science with an emphasis in soil science to bolster my background in soils for a future Ph.D. in the field. For my duration at Cal Poly I will be researching and modeling the link between soil properties and sudden oak death.

Brian Clark

I hail from San Jose, CA. In 2018, I achieved an undergraduate degree in Environmental Management & Protection with a concentration in Watershed Management and Hydrology and minor in Geographic Information Systems from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. I have continued at Cal Poly and plan to graduate with an M.S. in Agriculture and specialization in Soil Science this spring. My thesis is titled “Genesis and management implications of mollic soils in forest and grassland settings”. The research has manifested itself as a lot of hole digging and laboratory analysis on soils collected in the redwood forest and adjacent rangelands of Swanton Pacific Ranch and Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve. My main research interest is the connection between land management, soils, and global climate. After completion of graduation requirements, I plan to take an indefinite break from science to work seasonally in the wildland fire service on a hotshot crew, devoting time in the off-season to travel and writing music. 

Brian Whetsler

I am from Pismo Beach, California. I completed my undergraduate degree in Environmental Earth and Soil Science from Cal Poly in 2017. My current emphasis in the ESCI master’s program is Hydrology and my project involves characterizing Stenner Creek base-flow. I plan on collecting temperature data via drone mounted infrared temperature imaging and depth to water data surrounding Stenner Creek and producing a working groundwater model using MODFLOW to predict fluctuations in groundwater trends. My plans after graduating is to become a subject specialist within the company I am currently working for, Stantec Consulting.

Elysa Briens

I am originally from Carlsbad, CA, and recently graduated with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Management and Protection from Cal Poly. I also graduated with minors in Statistics, Sustainable Environments, and Land Rehabilitation and Restoration Ecology. Currently, I am pursuing a Master’s in Environmental Science at Cal Poly with and emphasis in sustainability. My graduate project will delve into sustainability knowledge at Cal Poly and will include an analysis of data from student surveys, collected from the past couple of years. With the guidance of Dr. Verma and Dr. Chiu, the end result will be a written paper, analyzing the statistical significance of the data and the following implications. After graduation, I aim to move back to the San Diego area and work as a sustainability consultant or environmental planner.

Claire J. Momberger

I am blessed to be from Pacific Grove, California. My drive from SLO to home is just a few hours up Highway 1, through beautiful Big Sur. The first two years of my undergraduate education were at a junior college. I then transferred to Cal Poly for the last two years of undergrad to pursue the B.S. Environmental Science and Management degree. I also picked up two minors in the Natural Resources Department: Water Science and Indigenous Studies in Natural Resources & the Environment; which I enjoyed because they offered perspective on the real-world application of environmental policy and management.  I am on the professional project tract in the M.S. program. I will be creating and administering a survey to the undergraduate ES/NR 360 Ethnicity and the Land class under the direction of Dr. Verma (NRES) and Dr. Martin (ES). This survey will inform faculty on the effectiveness of the class in promoting values of sustainable land management and natural resource management. Upon graduating from the Master’s program, I aim to gain experience in environmental consulting/planning in California. Beyond that, I would like to work in water resource management in my community, wherever in the country that may be.  

Daniel Keeley

Daniel Keeley 

I am from a tiny town called Three Rivers, California. I completed my undergrad at the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BS in Biology. After spending several years working a variety of jobs both domestically and abroad I decided to come home for graduate school. I am currently working with Dr. Richard Cobb studying management of sudden oak death in Humboldt county. After graduation I plan to use my degree as a field instructor both domestically and internationally, ultimately, I hope to leading canopy related field work and teach scientific tree climbing. 

Profile Image

Deirdre Sommerlad-Rogers 

I am originally from San Jose, CA.  I have earned several different degrees: San Jose State University, MS. In Sociology and Bowling Green State University, Ph.D. in Sociology. I am getting my M.S. in Forestry with a concertation in Environmental Management   My thesis is looking at simulation modeling of carbon sequestration in grasslands with Dr. Chiu. I decided to come back to school to get a M.S. in Forestry after a number of years of my research’s focus shifting toward issues if Eco-justice and sustainability. I decided to come to Cal Poly after moving to the area to fill in some gaps in my knowledge as well as create local networks of like-minded scholars.

Diego Rivera  

I’m from Fountain Valley, California in Orange County. I graduated with a B.S in Environmental Earth and Soil Science and a minor in Law and Society from Cal Poly. My emphasis in this program is the law and policy side, although I will take hard science classes related to soils. I am working on a professional project with Dr. Nick Babin and Jazlyn Guerrero about the attitudes of winery managers and advisors with respects to climate change and conservation practices. My goal after graduation is to attend law school and ultimately practice environmental law. 

Erin Lucett  

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area but my love of nature came from playing in the woods at my grandparent’s home in the Santa Cruz Mountains. My passion for the environment led me to pursue my Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management and Protection at Cal Poly. During this time, I did research under Dr. Yiwen Chiu performing Life Cycle Analysis on wine production on the Central Coast of California. One of my favorite memories of my time as an undergraduate at Cal Poly was studying abroad in Taiwan for Environmental Management and Sustainability. After graduating I became a GIS contractor for CAL FIRE as I prepared to start my graduate program. Here I became interested in environmental policy’s role in disaster mitigation. My project looks at public participation to help inform disaster mitigation for a coastal community on the Central Coast of California. After graduation I hope to work for a planning agency to help engage and prepare communities for natural disasters.

Follow my Project Progress

Jazlyn Guerrero

I am from Whittier, California. In 2019 I completed a bachelors in Physics at Cal State Fullerton. I decided to pursue environmental science after hearing a talk on scientist's involvement in politics and researching the topic. Through this I decided to emphasize on environmental policy and in the future, I am hoping to work as an environmental advisor at any level of government. Currently, I am working on a project with Dr. Nick Babin and Diego Rivera where we will be understanding the motivations and barriers to adopting conservation methods within wineries in California's central coast.  This research will help to improve our understanding of preferred strategies for agricultural management and inform conversations on climate change adaptation. 

Follow my Project Progress

Simon Marks 

I am from Lodi, CA. I am returning to Cal Poly as a graduate student after completing my undergraduate degree in Environmental Management at Cal Poly in June 2019. My graduate degree emphasis is in hydrology. Accordingly, I am working on a thesis researching the hydrology of a conifer encroached meadow in Lassen County, California. I intend on pursuing a PhD program in hydrology after completion of my degree. 

Darron Dike

I am originally from Santa Clara, CA. I received my A.S. degree in Horticulture from Foothill Community College in 1991. I transferred to Cal Poly and received my B.S. degree in Horticulture in 1994. After graduating, I stayed in San Luis Obispo and worked as a small farmer and a landscaper (also have worked in wholesale and retail nurseries). I have been working for Cal Poly in facilities since 2015, and have been taking classes in anticipation of pursuing the Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences and Management. My emphasis is in agriculture and environmental law and policy. My project is looking at potential development of Farm Bill programs in relation to climate change and the Green New Deal. Accomplishing a master’s degree from Cal Poly will improve my competitive advantages to advance my career.

Max McCool

Hi all! My name is Max McCool. I am from the fabulous, rainy city of Portland, Oregon. I am a graduate student working with the amazing Dr. Charlotte DeCock on my thesis project. My project centers around the utilization of cover crops and mycorrhizae to reduce GHG emissions on Lemon Orchards. This is an amazing project due to the faculty I get to work with, but because it broadens my horizons beyond my initial B.S. in Environmental Management. My plans for the future are to obtain a J.D. and Ph.D in a joint program and eventually work for the Sierra Club or the NRDC to lobby for de-privatization of water rights throughout the nation.

Michael Brown

I am from Oak Park, California. In 2017, I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Economics at California State University, Channel Islands. As part of my undergraduate degree I conducted a cost-benefit analysis for the reintroduction of Steelhead trout in the Malibu Creek Watershed. After a few years working in natural resource management and finance, I am pursuing a Master’s in Environmental Science and Management at Cal Poly. My eventual career goal is to go into environmental planning and consulting.

Tyler Sinnott

I was born and raised in Walnut Creek, a town located in the East Bay Area bordering Mt. Diablo State Park. I attended Cal Poly SLO for my undergraduate degree, attaining a B.S. in Environmental Earth and Soil Sciences with a concentration in hydrology in the fall of 2019. I chose to join Cal Poly’s master’s program in Environmental Sciences and Management to further develop my knowledge in the disciplines of hydrology and environmental policy. My master’s project, initiated and lead by Dr. Malama, is focused on studying the rapid decline of the Morro Bay eelgrass community and investigating the role of herbicides widely used in the associated drainage basins on the observed decline. After Cal Poly, I plan to start a career in hydrology, and aspire to become a certified hydrologist after 4 years of experience.

Alexandra Carlson

I grew up on a ranch in Gaviota, California. In June 2019, I graduated from Cal Poly with a B.S. in Environmental Earth and Soil Science and a minor in Geology. During my time in the M.S. program I will focusing study in Hydrology and working on a professional project with Dr. Malama investigating the relationship between the use of herbicides in SLO county and the die-off of eelgrass in Morro Bay estuary. After graduation, I am planning on pursuing a career in environmental consulting.

Geovan Rich

I am from San Diego, California. I received my Bachelor’s in Environmental Earth and Soil Science from Cal Poly. My focus during this Master’s degree is on biodegradable mulches. I am looking into the biophysical properties of biodegradable mulches in the field. My plans for after graduation are either teaching at a community college, going after a PhD, or going into the government/private sector of conservation/sustainability.

Related Content

Support NRES

support NRES

How You can Help

Advising & Forms

cap and tasselStudents have access to CAFES Academic Advisors as well as faculty in their major.

CBF Info

More on Advising


Call 805-756-2702, 9-4

Find us on FaceBook

Contact NRES