Alumni Stories

Katie Kassander, CES Major (2015)

Natural Resource Specialist, Bureau of Land Management, Milwaukee

I began working as an intern for the Bureau of Land Management the summer of 2015 as a Natural Resource Specialist (NRS). With the help of a non-profit organization called American Conservation Experience, I was placed in the Milwaukee Office. Once completing my internship and graduating from UWM I was given Direct Hire Authority. As of December 2015, I am a full time employee for the BLM in Milwaukee.

My job is a quite diverse when it comes to my daily activities. As a whole, the CES major helped me feel prepared for this job because of the variety of courses offered including the courses I was required to take in order to graduate.

I would highly recommend to any student to try and get an internship and receive course credit whenever possible. Internships gave me the opportunity to work closer with community partners, develop stronger relationships with professors, and provided me with an excellent experience.

Ellie Kirkwood


Ellie Kirkwood, CES Major (2013)

Field Supervisor, River Revitalization Foundation

Ellie Kirkwood is a field supervisor with the River Revitalization Foundation, and in this role she draws from her experiences and provides guidance to current UW-Milwaukee service learners and other community volunteers.

In 2009, Kirkwood enrolled at UWM intending to pursue a Philosophy major. However, after taking an academic service-learning course in Conservation and Environmental Science with Dr. Mai Phillips, she discovered her passion and interest in environmental restoration work. She describes working in the forest as fun and exciting, almost in disbelief that this was part of her coursework.

Due to her positive service-learning experiences, Kirkwood decided to switch her major to Conservation and Environmental Science. She continued to volunteer with the foundation as an intern, was later promoted to a field assistant, and then landed her current job as a field supervisor.

Ellie Kirkwood


Becky Bell, CES Major (2012)

Environmental Health and Safety Specialist, Novozymes BioAg, Inc.

Becky Bell is an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist at the Milwaukee branch of Novozymes BioAg, Inc., a Danish corporation in the business of producing enzymes and agricultural biologicals. In addition to monitoring her company’s storm water and spill control programs, Bell tracks Novozymes BioAg water and energy usage. She also handles employee training and workplace safety regulations to keep the business compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. Her work keeps her on the road quite a bit as she travels to other branches of Novozymes BioAg to study their environmental, health, and safety procedures. This year, she’s been tasked with helping to standardize environmental, health, and safety practices at all of the Novozymes BioAg branches in North and South America. Read the entire story in the L&S News.

Becky Bell


Julia Robson, CES Major (2012)

Assistant Natural Areas Coordinator, Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation & Culture

I began working with the Milwaukee County Parks Natural Areas Program as an intern in 2011 after which I was promoted to a seasonal position as the Wildlife Monitoring Technician.

I graduated in December 2012 with a B.S. in CES and Biological Sciences and was then hired on as a full-time employee working as the Assistant Natural Areas Coordinator for the Parks System. I assist in the management of 10,000 acres within the Milwaukee County Parks system conducting wildlife inventories, vegetative inventories, invasive species control, restoration projects, coordinating the volunteer and intern program, and I am currently developing the Park’s first ever Citizen-based Monitoring Program.

Julia Robson


Andrew Limmer, CES Major (2012)

Regional Director, National Wild Turkey Federation

I graduated in December of 2012 with a B.S. in CES. While in school I gained valuable volunteer experience with the Wisconsin Conservation Congress and habitat conservation organizations. I also interned at the Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory surveying Lake Michigan waterfowl.

I currently serve as a Regional Director in Central Illinois coordinating volunteers, managing fund-raising activities, and implementing the NWTF mission in both upland habitat restoration and hunter recruitment. From a dismal population to over 7 million birds today, the restoration of the wild turkey is one of the greatest conservation stories in North American history and I am proud to be a part of it.

The hands-on education and volunteer/intern opportunities that the CES program provided have opened great career opportunities for me.

Andrew Limmer


Rebecca Mattano, CES Major (2001)

Solid Waste Supervisor, Waukesha County, Wisconsin

Rebecca Mattano’s at passion was what led her to UWM. Mattano grew up in Oconomowoc and wanted to stay local for college. When she heard about UWM’s Conservation and Environmental Science major, she was hooked.

She graduated in 2001 with a deep appreciation for her studies—especially the field work. Working in that role made Mattano realize the importance of environmental education, so she returned to Wisconsin for graduate school at UW-Stevens Point and earned a Master’s in Environmental Education. She put it to use teaching Environmental Science at Carroll University and later at Milwaukee Area Technical College. She joined Waukesha County in 2012 and was promoted months later to her current position as the Solid Waste Supervisor.

Today, she administers recycling contracts and operations for the Joint Materials Recovery Facility. She aligns programming and operations with state recycling laws, and she also oversees the staff members who perform education and outreach to inform people about waste reduction and recycling.