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Frequently Asked Questions

No, only Title I schools in the Austin Independent School District are eligible.

We have developed a watershed viewer, so it is easy to find out what watershed you live in and to find out its Environmental Integrity  Index score.

AISD 5th grade teachers that have been trained and attended a week of Earth Camp led by City staff may participate in Teacher-Led Earth Camp! To schedule contact Susan Wall

The four Earth Camp Field Guides are available below for you to download. They require Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing. If you are scheduled for Teacher-Led Earth Camp, an Assistant will bring the field trip materials. If you would like to purchase materials, reference the "Materials" PDF file.

Field Trip Guide Contents * required when leading Teacher-Led Earth Camp

Field Trip Guide TEKS

Edwards Aquifer/Barton Springs

Barton Springs

Scavenger Hunt *only print the Lesson for the Park you will visit

All Parks Scavenger Hunt Lesson

Green Classroom

Macroinvertebrate Activities

 

Biologists

Andrew Clamann

Andrew Clamann

Environmental Scientist

Biologist

College Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Biology, University of Texas at Austin
  • Master of Science in Applied Geography – Environmental Resource Management, Texas State University

Is your job fun?  What do you do and why do you like it?

I love my job because I get to help protect the water quality of Austin’s creeks and lakes.  I collect samples of water, algae and aquatic insects to determine if the water is polluted from things like fertilizers, sewage and other sources of pollution from the city.  I also find and protect wetlands from construction.  My favorite part of the job is being outside near the water of the creeks and lakes because I get to see all kinds of great wildlife like fish, snakes, turtles, salamanders, birds and cool bugs.  It makes me feel good to know that the job I do helps protect the habitat for all the animals that I see.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

 When I was young, I didn’t know what I wanted to be, but I really liked being outside near water, seeing wildlife and catching critters like fish and bugs.  I didn’t think that there were very many jobs that I could do that, but there are!

What did you study?

Growing up, I watched every single nature show I could find and I loved to read magazines and books and about wildlife and nature.  I remember reading an entire 15 volume encyclopedia of animals as a kid. I couldn’t get enough.  In high school I took extra science and math classes.  In college I got a bachelor’s degree in Biology and took several extra classes in field biology instead of other electives because science is my kind of fun.  I also went back to college to get a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management.  I plan to never stop learning more about biology.

What other jobs have you had?

After college, I taught high school science for a few years.  I liked teaching science, but I really wanted to be out in the field doing science instead of just talking about science, so I quit teaching and took a job as a field biologist.  That job was great because I got to travel all over Texas sampling water, doing biological surveys, collecting fish and aquatic bugs.  The most valuable part of my job as a field biologist was that I learned all the names of plants and animals and how the important habitats like wetlands and riparian areas function.  It also taught me how the Federal and State rules work that try to protect nature.

What advice would you offer someone who wants to have a career like yours? 

You never know what kind of skill or knowledge will be the thing that makes you more valuable than other people applying for a job.  Don’t think that just getting a degree is good enough.  The reason that I got hired for my job is because I was the only applicant that knew how to identify aquatic insects and how to do wetland delineations.  The more types of different skills you have, the more likely someone will hire you.  So take as many different classes, do as many internships, and get as many certifications, learn as many types of equipment that you can.  Find someone who has a job that you like and ask them what kind of skills you need.  It’s often knowing people that already have jobs you like that helps you get those jobs, so use your free time to be a part of clubs and organizations in your field, go to conferences, meet people in that career and ask how you can help them.

Have another question? Send Andrew Clamann an email.

 

Todd jackson

Todd Jackson

Environmental Scientist

Biologist

College Degree:   

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of North Texas

Have another question? Send Todd Jackson an email.

 

Mateo Scoggins

Mateo Scoggins

Environmental Scientist

Aquatic Biologist

College Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication, University of California at San Diego
  • Master of Science in Aquatic Biology, Southwest Texas State University

Is your job fun?  What do you do and why do you like it?

Yes, my job is very fun.  I am a stream ecologist for the City of Austin and my job is to find out what makes creeks and rivers unhealthy and then to figure out how to fix them. I get to spend a lot of time in the creeks in Austin, looking at the bugs, algae and vegetation, using what lives in the creeks to tell me their story.  I also get to take that story and use it to change the laws and policies so that our creeks can be cleaner and more accessible for the citizens of Austin. That part in particular makes me really happy.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was very young, I wanted to be a marine biologist. After years of school, and even college, I lost that thread, thinking I wasn’t cut out for science and math, and thought I wanted to be a journalist.  Somehow, after some life experience, I realized I did love science and could even handle the math.  I went back to school, with a better idea of what I wanted, and it was pretty easy.

What other jobs have you had?

I worked in restaurants (dishwater, busboy) and then in construction growing up.  I went into the Peace Corps after college and installed small water systems, which really helped me decide that I wanted to do things that made the world a better place.

What advice would you offer someone who wants to have a career like yours?

Explore your interests freely and openly until you start to discover things that really interest you.  Take time to work and gain life experience before you commit to a career choice (between high school and college, or between college and grad school).  In stream ecology, you really probably need to go to graduate school, and work on original research (thesis/dissertation) as that allows you to delve deeply into something that you care about.  Try to specialize once you start recognizing what you are really interested in.

Have another question? Send Mateo Scoggins an email.

 

Staryn Wagner

Staryn Wagner

Environmental Scientist

College Degrees:

  • Associative Science Whatcom Community College in 2000
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, Western Washington University in 2002

Is your job fun?  What do you do and why do you like it?

Yes, I love my job and have a lot of fun doing it.  I have been tasked with the job of helping to improve the water quality in our creeks.  To do this, I try to find what is causing poor water quality and come up with ways to fix it.  This job puts me in contact with all kinds of interesting people and forces me to use my creativity to solve problems.

What did you study?

In school I spent a lot of time doing math and science.  Now that I have a job I realize that every class I took has contributed to my skill base, especially the things I did outside of school, like helping my dad build and repair things.

What other jobs have you had? 

I have been a door-to-door salesman, paperboy, donut fryer, grocery store clerk, bicycle mechanic, neon sign maker, commercial fisherman, landscaper, and construction worker.

What have you learned on the job?

I learned that walking under a ladder is bad luck because there are usually people on top of the ladder working that might drop things on your head.  Being able to communicate your needs with other people is one of the most important tasks you will have in work and the rest of life.

What has been your most interesting encounter on the job?

One of the property owners whose land we cross to get to Barton Creek loves what we do so much that she wants to help us.

What advice would you offer someone who wants to have a career like yours?

Whatever it is that you want to do for a living start now.  There is no reason you can’t begin volunteering to do the work you want later in life.

Have another question? Send Staryn Wagner an email.

 

Ana Gonzales

Ana Gonzales 

Environmental Scientist

College Degrees:

  • Undergraduate degree in Biology, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala
  • Ph.D. in Plant Ecology, University of Texas at Austin

Is your job fun?  What do you do and why do you like it?

I love getting into the creeks, exploring all the different plants that grow along creeksides and making discoveries! We never get bored! It may be hot out there, or full of poison ivy, but boring, never!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be in the woods, climbing trees, exploring nature. Reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Robinson Crusoe made me want to figure out how to live in nature. My favorite TV shows growing up were those that had people explaining how nature works or were saving wild animals. I studied biology so I could live in the jungle or the forest and protect it.

What did you study?

In Guatemala, I studied biology in college and got to learn a lot about natural systems. Plants caught my heart, they are so amazing at adapting to their environment that I wanted to learn more about them. I then came to the U.S. and studied for a doctorate in plant ecology. There is so much we don’t know yet, I am still learning!

How did you find out about being a biologist?

One of my cousins was a student at college. I was 12 years old. She came to our house for dinner one day and was explaining to my parents about her degree in Biology. Until then, I always thought that I was going to be a veterinarian or a doctor because those were the only careers I knew about that were related to natural sciences. I could not believe all the things she got to do, explore the forest, identify animals and plants, camp out in the woods! That very night, I knew exactly what my career was going to be: biologist!

What other jobs have you had?

I was a forester, helping take care of trees and identifying if they were sick or needed care. I also did a research project studying the vegetation in one of our natural preserves here in Austin: Indian Grass Wildlife Sanctuary. That project recommended burning the vegetation, just like Native Americans did a long time ago, to bring back our Blackland Prairie. For most of my life as a student, I was also a teaching assistant helping other students understand and practice the concepts learned in class, and I ran labs, too.

Have another question?  Send Ana Gonzalez an email.

 

Tomm Devitt

Tom Devitt

Environmental Scientist

Salamander Biologist

College Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology (Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation emphasis), University of Texas at Austin
  • Master of Science in Biology, Louisiana State University
  • Ph.D. in Integrative Biology, the University of California, Berkeley

Is your job fun?  What do you do and why do you like it?

Overall, my job is pretty fun. I'm a biologist, and I study aquatic organisms like salamanders and invertebrates to monitor the health of aquatic ecosystems and the water that sustains them. I get to spend lots of time outdoors in nature, which is one of the reasons I like my job. My job is fulfilling because I get to use the skills and knowledge I gained in school to help protect the environment in and around Austin, a place I grew up in and feel connected to.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I've always wanted to be a herpetologist when I grew up (someone who studies reptiles and amphibians). I've always been fascinated by snakes, frogs, turtles, and salamanders, and I developed a passion for them very early in life (from age 3 or so). I developed a love of nature and wildlands as a result of my interests, and have known that I wanted to work in conservation for a long time.

What did you study?

I studied biology in college and grad school. I sought out all of the field-based classes I could (entomology, herpetology, vertebrate natural history, etc.). My graduate studies took me all over the world doing research -- the Philippines, Indonesia, Mexico, and Costa Rica, as well as many parts of the U.S.

What job would you still like to have that isn’t the one you work now?

I like my job, but would like to do more for nature conservation on a global scale. Or, maybe, I'll go back to teaching and doing research, which I also loved. That said, I'm pretty happy in my current role.

What advice would you offer someone who wants to have a career like yours?

The best advice I could give someone who wants to be a professional biologist is work hard, do well in school, and seek out opportunities to meet people doing the work you think you might like to do.  Ask them if they'd ever let you shadow them at work for a while. If you have a passion for something, follow it, and don't listen to people who might say that you'll never make a living doing it. A college professor I had used to say to me, "The world needs more plumbers, not herpetologists. But, if you have to be a herpetologist, you'll probably be a good one."

Have another question?  Send Tom Devitt an email.

 

Scott Hiers

Scott Hiers

Environmental Scientist

Geologist

College Degree:

  • Bachelor Science in Geology, University of Wisconsin

Is your job fun?  What do you do and why do you like it?

Being a geologist is fun, especially if you like being outdoors some of the time, like I do. I love being outside, in nature, studying earth systems. I especially love knowing how to read the rocks.  Growing up, I loved looking for rocks and minerals and had a rock and mineral collection. I found rocks and mineral to be beautiful because of all the many different colors and shapes that they come in. Some can be quite rare and contain fossils of corals, clams and plants or large crystal minerals.  As a Geologist, I love hiking and mapping all different rock units and unlocking their history from its primordial past to present day.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

As kid, I wanted to be chemist, but I wasn’t very good at organic chemistry. I struggled through my first organic chemistry class and I knew that being a chemist might not be right for me. I recalled that I had a passion for the outdoors and for rocks and minerals. I collected rocks and minerals as a kid, so I decide to take a physical geology class in college.  I loved it. My desire to learn more about the earth was kindled, and my passion grew into a love of nature and the natural environment and rocks and minerals that make up the Earth. I knew I wanted to work in a job that would help me protect my planet, so I decided that I was going to be a geologist.

How did you find out about being an Environmental Scientist?

 I started as a part-time volunteer with the City’s Citizen Water Quality Monitoring Program – ‘The Water Watchdogs’. As a volunteer, I learned of the position opening that involved studying and protecting  Austin’s surface water, so I applied.

What job would you still like to have that isn’t the one you work now?

I don’t know. I’m still having fun as geologist.  I’ve done so many jobs, and I’ve enjoyed all the people I have worked for and with over the years. Perhaps my next will be a job helping people or playing bass guitar in a band. 

What advice would you offer someone who wants to have a career like yours?

Don’t ever give up! Find volunteer and internship opportunities to work with people in your field of interest and use these experiences to meet and network with people.

Have another question? Send Scott Heirs an email.

 

David Johns

David Johns

Environmental Scientist

Hydrogeologist

College Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Geology, Texas A&M
  • Master of Arts in Geology, University of Texas at Austin

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was young I wanted to be a vet because I loved animals and did my best to rehabilitate injured animals, but I wasn’t very good at that. I think that was probably part of my initial love of nature – water, woods and most all things outdoors.

What did you study?

It became clear to me in high school that I loved the outdoors and wanted to help keep the environment clean rather than exploit it. I had a very inspirational high school biology teacher who was also a chaperone for an Explorer Post (called Adventure Scouts today) that took kids on canoe and hiking trips that helped kindle my love of the outdoors. I knew I wanted to get a job in something related to the outdoors and biology seemed to be a path to get me there. In college, it became clear to me that biology wasn’t doing for me what I had hoped. A friend was taking a geology class and I looked over his text books and talked with him and realized that I had been fascinated with rocks for many years. So I gave geology a shot. I absolutely loved it! Why? Perhaps because it helped me understand so much about what I was experiencing outside – rivers, lakes, beaches, oceans, mountains, forests. So in college I studied many basic geology areas like mineralogy, structural geology, sedimentary/volcanic/metamorphic rocks, mapping, and global geology and how the continents have moved over geologic time of billions of years, economic geology (think metals and oil and gas and coal) and finally groundwater, which helped me get the job I have today.

What other jobs have you had?

I’ve been fortunate that all my post-college jobs have been in my field of geology - it doesn’t happen that way all the time.

What have you learned on the job?

That no matter how much you think you know, there is so much more to learn.

What advice would you offer someone who wants to have a career like yours?

Don’t give up when things get hard and difficult, because you never know when an opportunity will present itself.

Have another question?  Send David Johns an email.

 

Sylvia Pope

Sylvia Pope

Environmental Scientist

Hydrogeologist

College Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Geosciences, Purdue University, Indiana
  • Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning University of Texas at Austin

Is your job fun?  What do you do and why do you like it?

My job as a hydrogeologist is fun!  I am frequently in a creek or at a spring, and sometimes I get to go into caves.  These visits are related to studying how rainwater flows over the land surface, enters recharge features (caves or sinkholes) and then flows underground.  When the water flows underground, it’s called groundwater. It’s important to protect groundwater so that Austin has clean and clear water flowing out of our big springs, like Barton Springs, and little springs, like the ones that you might find on the bank of a creek near your neighborhood. 

What did you study?

When I went to college, I had an incredibly interesting introductory class in geology that hooked me into switching my major to geology.  Geology is the history of the Earth, and it’s incredible what you can learn from a rock or several layers of rock!  And being a water lover, I wanted to study groundwater and how it is different in different parts of the country and how it flows towards wells, springs and rivers.   In order to learn how it flows, I also had to take classes in calculus, physics and chemistry.  After working for a few years, I returned to college to get a masters’ degree in community and regional planning.  Graduate studies rounded out my knowledge with GIS skills, policy and planning and water resources management.  Now, I have a professional geoscientist license that requires that I take classes in order to earn continuing education credits.  This is an opportunity to attend conferences, such as the Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology of Karst Terranes (we call it the Sinkholes conference, for short).  In central Texas, there are also day-long workshops in karst hydrogeology or groundwater-related topics or field trips with the Austin Geological Society.  In fact, I helped lead an Austin Geological Society field trip to several springs in the Austin area in February 2017.  

What other jobs have you had?

I have worked as an environmental consultant.  The field work wasn’t as much fun because I was collecting water samples from wells on industrial sites, like oil refineries.  I much prefer to collect water samples from springs on the banks of our clear creeks in central Texas. 

While I was in graduate school, I worked as a geology consultant for an environmental attorney.  I assisted his expert witnesses by reading all of the files associated with the legal cases and revealing the key findings that the experts needed to evaluate.  That job also involved making presentations on hydrogeology to government agencies on interesting things like changes in groundwater flow direction.  Why would groundwater flow direction change?  It may change as the water table raises or lowers in response to rainfall. 

What have you learned on the job?

I have learned how to shimmy down a cave entrance when it’s shaped like a chimney and how to crawl down a cave passage by scooching forward with the toes of my boots.  

I’ve also learned that the dye trace studies we’ve done in the Recharge Zone of the Edwards Aquifer have revealed complex flow paths and very fast groundwater travel times.  There are cave passages in the aquifer that are like hidden highways, transporting water from sinkholes in creeks towards Barton Springs.   

What advice would you offer someone who wants to have a career like yours?

If you want to work as a hydrogeologist, it’s helpful to be good at math and science.  STEM classes are essential for understanding the various factors that may affect the fate and transport of pollutants or rock/water interactions that result in different types of water chemistry in different aquifer types.  If you’re curious and love the outdoors, that’s a bonus because you need to do field work to increase your understanding of the geology AND the groundwater. It’s tricky to get work experience for your first full-time job.  Volunteering your time or working as an unpaid intern are possible ways to gain experience if a paid internship or part-time position isn’t available.  If there’s a local geological society or environmental organization, you might attend meetings to meet people and hear about projects or studies that are underway in the area.  And if full-time jobs aren’t available, graduate school might be a good option.  It seems like most working geologists have master’s degrees.

Have another question?  Send Sylvia Pope an email.

 

Engineers

Michelle Adlong

Michelle Adlong

Graduate Engineer

 

College Degrees: 

  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University;
  • Masters of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California at Berkeley

Is your job fun?  What do you do and why do you like it?

I am an environmental engineer. I design projects to restore eroding streams and to clean pollution in stormwater runoff. My job is often challenging, because with complicated problems there’s not always a “correct” answer. But it’s fun when I see my projects – which started out as just an idea on paper - get constructed in the real world.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Growing up, I had never even heard of an environmental engineer! I wanted to be a veterinarian, then, on a job shadow, I realized I was too squeamish to ever perform surgery. So I found another way to improve other’s lives, indirectly.

What did you study?

I studied for four years to get my bachelor’s degree in engineering, and I also got a minor in Spanish, which was a nice balance to the science and engineering classes! Then, after working and traveling, I went back to earn my master’s degree, where I got to focus more on stormwater. After working a few more years as an Engineer in Training, I took a big test and became a Professional Engineer.

What have you learned on the job?

I’ve learned how to use technology. For example, I can use computer models to predict where water will flood, and create maps with many different layers of information. Compared to even 10 years ago, software and apps speed up engineers’ jobs and help us make more informed decisions (when they haven’t crashed my computer, that is). But technology changes fast, so I’ve also learned to just be willing to learn.

What advice would you offer someone who wants to have a career like yours?

First, maintain your grades. They will not only help get you into a university, but they can also help with scholarships (which made all the difference for me). Second, take charge of your own future: pursue your curiosity, read, ask questions, and don’t wait for others to tell you what you should be doing. Third, while in college get an internship in your field. Not only is it good experience, but it will also tell you if something’s not for you!

Have another question?  Send Michelle Adlong an email

 

Katina Bohrer

Katina Bohrer

Engineer

 

College Degree:

  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, University of Colorado

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was 8, I originally wanted to be a veterinarian, but when I realized I’d have to euthanize animals, I decided I should choose a different profession; by the time I had finally decided I wasn’t going to be a veterinarian, I had already convinced myself I had to do well in math and science classes.  My high school counselor had recommended applying for engineering school because it’s much easier to drop engineering than it is to get into it after you’ve already started college.  Lest you think it was easy, it wasn’t – I almost dropped out of engineering after the first semester to become a history teacher.  My history teacher from high school convinced me I should stay in math and sciences, and here I am today, a Civil Engineer.

What did you study?

ABET accredited engineering schools will provide you with a very precise list of which classes you need to take and when you take them in order to get your degree within 4 years. Most of these classes are science, engineering, math, or technology related.  Since I grew up in Colorado and went to school there, I mostly took groundwater related classes, but when I moved to Texas and got hired by the City of Austin, I switched to surface water and what happens when there’s too much of it (flooding).  In college I was more interested in the environmental engineering side of things, but could not understand the chemistry needed for the classes. Despite this, I was involved with the   C.U. Boulder Biodiesel club, where we converted used fry oil to diesel to use in the campus busses.

How did you find out about being an Engineer with the City of Austin?

My boyfriend at the time (now husband) had graduated from college before me and got a job working with National Instruments in north Austin (it took me 4.5 years to graduate due to having to retake calculus and chemistry in college – like I said, the first semester of college was not easy).  I had found a website which listed all the available job postings in Texas, and I narrowed it down to Austin and went from there.  I originally applied for the Flood Early Warning System group, but did not get the job; based on my interview, however, I was hired as a temporary employee and eventually got a permanent position with the Floodplain Office.

What other jobs have you had?

Since I started working with the City of Austin immediately after college, I have not had any other jobs; although I did intern with a small engineering firm in Colorado which included doing a hiking/camping/4-wheeling trip in the Glenwood Springs area collecting stream flow data, changing batteries on gages, and performing analysis of impacts beaver dams have on stream flow.  In high school and college, I primarily did customer service jobs (Target and the movie theater) which actually do come in handy for my job now.

What job would you like to have that isn’t the one you work now?

I would love to work at a garden center since I love learning about plants and best practices to take care of them.  If I went back to college, I’d get a degree in forestry or take classes to become an arborist or botanist.

Have another question?  Send Katina Bohrer an email

 

Sergio Mendozaf

Sergio Mendoza

Professional Civil Engineer

Certified Floodplain Manager

College Degree:

  • Bachelor of Science Engineering, California State University, Northridge

What did you want to be when you grew up?

As a kid, I wanted to be a fireman because I wanted to rescue people and properties.  In those days, there were height restrictions and I did not meet the minimum height requirement.  I discovered Civil Engineering and soon realized that I can help protect people and properties by designing and constructing a system of pipes that can prevent flooding.

What did you study?

I studied math, from algebra to calculus.  Also, I studied physics, where I learned about matter and its motion and how it behaves in space and time.  Plus chemistry, where I got to experiment with chemicals in a lab.  I also studied how to build using concrete, steel and wood to construct buildings, bridges and other structures.

How did you find out about being a Civil Engineer?

I attended a career fair in high school.  The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power had a display about renewable energy.  It fascinated me because I wanted to do something that would help find new energy sources so I decided to study civil engineering. 

What job would you still like to have that isn’t the one you work now?

My second career would be an elementary school teacher to help shape and encourage young minds to be more than they think they can be.

What advice would you offer someone who wants to have a career like yours?

It is not a race.  Some people will be ahead of you, some people will be behind you and some people will be right alongside you.  The important thing will be to continue progressing; continue moving towards your goals.

Have another question? email: Sergio Mendoza

 

John Middletonf

John Middleton

Engineer

College Degree:

  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering

Is your job fun?  What do you do and why do you like it?

My job is really fun.  I’m an Engineer and work on protecting Austin citizens from flooding.  I use cool modeling tools and detailed maps to figure out how to prevent flooding.  And I go out in the field to look at flooding problems and meet people who need our help.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I grew up, I wanted to be an astronaut.  My sister, my best friend and I had a pact that we would go to Mars together.  We all loved math and science, and ended up with technical careers in engineering or computer science.  I’m not sure I will make it to Mars, but my curiosity in the world around us is as strong as ever.

How did you find out about being an Engineer?

I’ve always been drawn to the creeks in the Hill Country, and love hiking and swimming in them.  I got the idea to study hydrology watching Shoal Creek during a big storm.  Engineers and scientists at the City take care of all our creeks, and I knew I wanted to be part of that.

What other jobs have you had?

In high school and college I worked framing houses.  I love building things, and that’s what led me into engineering.  My first “real” job was as an electrical engineer.  I designed digital circuit boards that look a lot like the motherboard inside your PC or Laptop.  My focus was on networking circuits and products – the thing that lets your computer communicate with the internet.  I loved designing things, building them, and making them work in the lab.  It’s a great feeling when people actually use the things you design!

What job would you still like to have that isn’t the one you work now?

If I could manage a third career, I’d like to work in a National Park – especially Big Bend.  I think the desert is a beautiful, but harsh, place that holds many treasures, if you are willing to look for them.  Being the steward of such an awesome place would be very rewarding.

Have another question? email: John Middleton