Iowa State University

Iowa State University

Environmental Science

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences


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EnSci Alumna: Marisa Anderson

Graduate Student,
Public & Environmental Affairs


Q: What first started your interest in Environmental Science (EnSci)?

Marisa: I was initially a biology major, which is a really broad major and wanted to focus more in an area of science. During my junior year, I realized I was really interested in the environment and decided to add it as another major. I've also always been outdoorsy, and environmental science definitely gets you outside.

Q: Which courses did you take to specialize yourself within the EnSci program?

Marisa: The EnSci core classes, ecology, global change, soil genesis & landscape relationships, and aquatic ecology.

Q: Of the courses you took, what course at Iowa State helped the most in graduate school?

Marisa: Within the core classes, one needs to take Integrated Case Studies Senior Seminar. I really enjoyed that class. I got hands on experience designing a riparian buffer. For one of my graduate classes, the grad
students had to give a presentation on some sort of management practice. I ended up using what we did in that class for my presentation. I also included that experience in my statement of purpose letter in the grad school application process.

Q: What are some of the activities you do in graduate school at Indiana?

Marisa: Graduate assistant in a forest ecology lab.
Some volunteering - clean up hiking trails. Attend sporting events.

Q: What aspects of your education have been the most important part to your success at Indiana University?

Marisa: I received a broad education at ISU with the two majors. This introduced me to a variety of concepts that I could eventually choose from to concentrate on in grad school. I learned time management among school, clubs, and my social life. I was able to make connections with
professors and fellow students, which both helped me succeed in classes and get into the grad school program of my choice.

Q: What was your favorite part of the EnSci program?

Marisa: I liked the variety of courses, outdoor labs, and field trips. I had really good professors, too.

Marisa in the field/water

Topics for Prospective Students

Dr. Burras

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Dr. Burras's research focuses on the long-term human impacts on soil quality. more...

Hear Dr. Burras's audio interview.

The Environmental Science curriculum is designed to prepare you for a position of leadership in this rapidly changing discipline.