AGNR Featured Alum
Name: Amy Kline
Major: Environmental Science and Technology, Natural Resource Management concentration
Graduation Date: December 2012
What was your favorite UMD class?
I had a lot of favorite courses at UMD but one that stands out is Soil Science with Dr. Weil. This was definitely one of the tougher courses I took, but I learned a lot and wass able to secure a job working in Dr. Weil's soil laboratory for a few semesters. I assisted a grad student and was also able to complete some of my own independent research while working in the lab, both of which were instrumental in landing my first job at the USDA - Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) working on heavy metal analysis in environmental samples.
What is your current job title and company?
Lead Environmental Specialist at Maryland Environmental Service (MES).
What are your major job/position responsibilities?
MES has many different roles categorized as Environmental Specialist at the agency. My specific role is to serve as the Lead Laboratory Coordinator for MES. In this role, I perform environmental laboratory coordination, project and contract management, review data, ensure environmental permit compliance and work with environmental regulations specific to laboratory analysis. I work with many different environmental projects ranging from drinking water to wastewater to sediments and dredged material. I don't work in the laboratory analyzing samples but rather help with project management for all of the projects that are sent to the laboratory.
What do you enjoy most about your job/position?
There are always new projects and as a result, new things to learn. In my position, I'm able to have a great balance between various types of office work (independent, working on a team and working with clients) and some field work like groundwater or toxic chemical sampling events. It's also a great blend of the compliance or policy side of environmental work and the hard science side.
What do you dislike the most about your job/position?
I don't dislike much about my position but because there are so many projects to manage, it can involve a lot of time management which during busy times can become challenging!
What advice would you give to current students pursuing a career in Agriculture and Natural Resources?
Take advantage of all the opportunities you have access to as a student at the university. Form relationships with your professors, join clubs and organizations and work on projects that can all help you to land your first job when you graduate. My first job was a direct result of the relationships I formed on campus with my professors and the part time jobs and projects I chose to take on. My first job also was a great building block and foundation for where I am at now in my career. I was able to work my way up from an environmental laboratory assistant to a position where I help manage all environmental projects my agency sends to laboratories for analysis.
Amy's Contact Information -