Alumni Profiles - Meet Chelsea Halley
Hometown: Jackson, NJ
Year of Graduation: 2012
Majors: Natural Resource Management, Agriculture and Natural Resources
Minor: Resource Economics
Ag Ambassadors, Alpha Epsilon Phi, student chapter of the American Water Resources Association
Current Position of Employment or Education:
Environmental Scientist at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)
Describe your best Ag experience:
Just being a part of the Ag school was a great experience. I got to know several of my professors and truly feel that they knew me too, instead of being just another student to them. I loved having the commons to study in or meet with friends between classes. It was a great feeling knowing that I had a place on campus I always felt comfortable in.
Which Ag course was your favorite and why?
Plant pathology was my favorite course because it was very hands on. We learned about specific plant diseases during the lecture and then actually created those diseases in the lab. It was a great experience being able to study the disease symptoms on a real plant, rather than from a picture in a text book. The course also covered so many different types of plants and I learned about a variety of different diseases.
Tell us about your current position or program of study and what led you to that field.
My current position is an environmental scientist in the Site Investigation and Restoration Section at DNREC (Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control). I chose this position because it encompasses many aspects of the environment. I will have the opportunity to work on several different projects and learn more about the environmental field and how a state agency works.
How did your College of Ag experiences prepare you for your current job or post-graduate education?
My major was interdisciplinary and covered many aspects of natural resources. Having a broad background like this allowed me to apply for several different types of jobs in the field. I like not being tied down to one specific area of study. In addition, I completed an internship with the Delaware Water Resources Center (administered by the Plant and Soil Sciences department) that pushed me in the right direction. Through my internship, I learned that I like field work and looked for a job that included it.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
Get involved! Because my major was so broad, I was unsure of what I wanted to do when I graduated. My internship gave me a preview of what a job in the environmental field would be like. Because I absolutely loved the area I studied in my internship, I was able to look for jobs that were similar.
I would also suggest to stay connected. The professors in the ag school are great resources for job opportunities, or research opportunities. Having relationships with some professors is a great way to stay in the loop and learn more about what's going on in your field.