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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Alumni Connection Spring 2015

Alumni Spotlight
Alumnus Steve Goodwin Honored
ENR Young Alumni
Featured Alumnus
Graduation Celebration
Become a Member
Director Profile
Update your Information
Recognition Banquet
An Exciting Hockey Game
Career Bootcamp
Important Dates/Events

Alumni Spotlight:

An SENR Graduate in the White House

By Jessica Dicerbo

For this issue of the ENRAS Newsletter, we are directing the spotlight onto the accomplished Dr. Tristram (Tris) O. West, who received his MS (1996) and PhD (1999) from the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University. Over the past 15 years, Dr. West’s policy research on land use, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use has provided him with invaluable opportunities to work with a host of US government agencies, non-profit organizations, and academia.

Dr. West currently works in the White House, serving on the White House Council on Environmental Quality. In his role, he is involved in managing the land- and carbon-related work associated with domestic and international policies for greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change.

In 2010, prior to serving in the White House, Dr. West worked at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Joint Global Change Research Institute-University of Maryland, conducting national to global-scale analyses of agricultural production and carbon dynamics for use in integrated assessment models, Earth system models and carbon monitoring systems.

Dr. West joined the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1999 and rose to the position of lead scientist on soil carbon dynamics and greenhouse gas accounting under the Department of Energy’s Carbon Sequestration in Terrestrial Ecosystems program. It was in 2008 at Oak Ridge that he received the Stanley I. Auerbach Award for Excellence in Environmental Sciences, which recognized his significant scientific contributions from his study of the relationships between agroecosystems and the global carbon cycle.

We are honored to recognize Dr. West for his distinguished work, scientific contributions, and commitment to public policy!

Alumnus Steve Goodwin Honored as Wildlife Conservationist of the Year

Steve Goodwin, ENR alumnus and past ENRAS board member, was honored by the League of Ohio Sportsmen as the 2015 Wildlife Conservationist of the Year!  Steve received the award at the organization’s annual conference and banquet held this year at the Fort Rapids Conference Facility in Columbus. Fellow alumnus and ENRAS Secretary Mark Dilley was pleased to be able to join Steve at the banquet, to see his friend receive this much-deserved recognition.  Mark first became acquainted with Steve during his time as a college intern with the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) in the early 1990s. Their friendship has continued ever since.  

“Steve has been a mentor and model to me as I’ve developed my career and become a successful business owner” said Mark.  “I first got to know him at ODNR.  There, Steve was a friendly and helpful presence, always willing to provide me with valuable advice and support.  He also gave me confidence and encouragement to ‘pay it forward’ to future OSU students at ENR by enlisting me to serve with him on the Executive Council of the ENR Alumni Society, an organization which he helped start.”  Steve served the School and its Alumni Society in a variety of capacities for at least two decades, and although no longer on the Executive Council, he continues to attend events and contribute to the efforts of the Society.  

Steve’s history of service with ODNR is impressive, having played a pivotal role in the negotiations and acquisition of some of the most unique and important nature preserves in our great State.  In his “retirement,” he continues to make tremendous contributions in the protection of vital green spaces in Ohio through his work with the Appalachia Ohio Alliance.  He is a strong advocate for conservation, which improves the quality of life for all of us.  Steve exemplifies the belief that environmental stewardship and citizenship go hand in hand, which is a key reason he is so deserving of this recognition.  Congratulations, Steve!  We’re happy for you and we thank you for being such a good friend and ambassador of ENR and ENRAS!

ENR Young Alumni

By Brent Macolley

The ENR Young Alumni met several times this spring at North High Brewing Co. in Columbus. The Young Alumni is a group that focuses on low cost events that provide an opportunity for recent graduates to network with other environmentally minded individuals. We are working to increase attendance and find new events and locations.

Please contact me at with any ideas that you might have for potential future events.

Featured Alumnus (a new feature on Facebook and Twitter)

Mike McNutt

I graduated with a second degree in Natural Resources in 2001 with my major in Environmental Science. It was a great experience going to Kottman Hall every day and being around knowledgeable staff and passionate students. My favorite class was Limnology.

Since I love water, I thought that it was cool to learn about Lake Erie from a science perspective rather than just by appreciating its beauty.  My first job kept me close to home; I worked for a small storm water management company in Gahanna. I had a difficult time finding something since it was right after 9/11.

Shortly thereafter, I took a job as a watershed coordinator with a small local watershed group called Friends of Big Walnut Creek and then moved on to Cleveland to work in the Cuyahoga River Watershed. I learned many things and got to see how all of the schooling paid off for me as I was combining both of my degrees into a career.

All of my ENR classes and teachers provided me with the tools to go and make things happen. Seeing that I am not a research scientist, my brain doesn’t work that way; I found that communicating scientific information to the community was a niche that I could fill.

Now I am in California, working on the historic drought, and trying to help the community conserve water and change personal behavior patterns to minimize their impacts on water supply. I would never have thought that I would be in a more relevant situation than I am right now; making a difference for our future. No matter where you are, we from ENRAS are all family and all BUCKEYES!


Are you curious about what fellow alumni have been up to since graduation??  Do you wish you could be recognized for the everyday things you have done since graduation??  Look no further than the Featured Alumni of the Week program.  It is a simple process, volunteer alumni are given a short questionnaire about their life during and after their time at Ohio State.  They fill out the questionnaire and send it along with their photo for publication.  Each Wednesday, an alumnus is selected to be featured on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you are interested in being a Featured Alumni please email us at





Like us on Facebook at

and follow us on Twitter @ENRAlumni

Be on the lookout for old friends and faculty that are featured!

Graduation Celebration

By Mark Giese

ENRAS joined faculty, staff, family and friends to celebrate the graduation of students from the School of Environment and Natural Resources. Awards for the students’ achievements were presented by SENR Director, Jeff Sharp, and ENRAS Secretary Mark Dilley spoke on what it means to be a member of the alumni family. The reception was held Friday, May 8th, in Kottman Hall.

Become a Sustaining Member of ENRAS

By Mark Giese

The new University Advancement model integrates Ohio State Alumni into the greater mission of the university. As you may recall, The Ohio State University Alumni Association (OSUAA) redefined its membership levels:

Membership Levels

Alumni - Individuals who have earned associate, bachelor, graduate, professional, or honorary degrees from Ohio State, as well as medical resident graduates of the university.

Sustaining Member - Alumni who have renewed their commitment to Ohio State each year by making a tax deductible gift of $75 or more to the university program(s) of their choice.

Life Members - Alumni or friends of Ohio State who joined the Association through a lifetime membership before it was discontinued on June 30, 2012.

Click here to see your OSUAA membership benefits.

We encourage our ENR Alumni to consider becoming Sustaining Members. This gift will qualify you as an ENRAS Sustaining Member and a Sustaining Member of The Ohio State University Alumni Association (OSUAA). Your gift to the university can be made as tax deductible donation before the end of this tax year. Please consider becoming an ENRAS Sustaining Member in 2015.

Director Profile: Craig B. Davis

By Rachel Hefflinger

From its conception in 1968 the School of Natural Resources (later the School of Environment and Natural Resources) has had many distinguished and talented men serve in the important role of director of the school. This is no exception when considering the school’s director from 1984 – 1988, Dr. Craig B. Davis.

Dr. Davis received his PhD in Botany – Plant Ecology from the University of California at Davis in 1972. From 1970 – 1973 he coordinated the environmental studies program at Alma College. He moved on to Iowa State University to coordinate their environmental studies program from 1973 – 1984, and finally came to SNR in 1984 to serve as director for four years until he stepped down in 1988.
During his time as director, he worked tirelessly to streamline the school’s administrative structure to assist both faculty and students in their time at The Ohio State University. He also worked towards creating multidisciplinary areas of study within environmental science. In addition, he oversaw the initiation of new instructional and research programs that included: natural resources information systems, wetlands, aquaculture, environmental science, and plant biology.  

After he stepped down as director, Dr. Davis continued to serve The Ohio State University as a professor and researcher. His main teaching responsibilities included: Introduction to Environmental Sciences (ENR 201), Natural Resources Management (ENR 606.01), and Resolving Social Conflict (ENR 750). As a researcher with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), Dr. Davis focused on wetland ecology, environmental conflict resolution, and environmental security. He also served as a consultant in developing environmental studies curriculum around the world, particularly in collaboration with the Natural Resources and Environmental Policy Project (NAREPP) USAID University Program in 1993, which sought to develop a variety of programs designed to meet the ongoing need for environmental education, manpower, and research in areas around the world.

It is safe to say that Dr. Craig B. Davis not only left his mark on our school and The Ohio State University at large through his programs, excellence in teaching, and lending inspiration to his students, but also left his mark on the world through both his innovative research and by revolutionizing the standards of environmental science curriculum.

Dr. Davis retired from the university May 2013 and currently resides in Wisconsin.

Update Your Alumni Information

We like to keep our information as up to date as possible when it comes to our alumni. Please take a second to follow the link below to give us your most current information. It will allow us to keep you up to date with all things happening with ENRAS and the School of Environment and Natural Resources.

The 2015 CFAES Recognition Banquet

By Mark Giese

On Thursday, April 16th, the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) came together in the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom of the Ohio Union to recognize achievements within the college. The theme of the evening was “You should have Seen it in Color.” Every year 20 of the most outstanding seniors are recognized within the college for their exceptionable achievements during their undergraduate careers. This year we had one student in the top 20, Meghan Parsley, a Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife major from Hilliard, Ohio.

The Newcomb Scholars are students recognized for their academic achievements. The top five students based on cumulative GPA are named Newcomb Scholars. They are classified by their rank or year in school, Rank Two is Sophomore, Rank Three is Junior and Rank Four is Senior. Out of the 15 scholars from the CFAES, seven were from the School of Environment and Natural Resources. Rank Two students recognized were Environmental Policy and Decision Making major Catherine Brokenshire, and Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability majors Annaliese Koontz and Mara Momenee. Rank Three students recognized were Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability major Samantha Keitlen, Environmental Policy and Decision major Alyssa Martin and Environmental Science major Jordan Reding. The Rank Four student recognized was Environmental Policy and Decision Making major Abigail Mackey.

ENRAS honored three students with the Lee Johnston Leadership Award. Megan Fuerst, a sophomore in the Environment, Economy, Development
and Sustainability major, Alissa Finke, a junior Environmental Science major, and Molly Hardesty, a junior Environmental Policy and Decision Making major. Alissa is the President of the Coalition for Student Organizations. She works with the various student organizations of the school to help coordinate schedules and events between organizations and student groups. Molly is working with the school to initiate a transfer student mentor program as well as has worked to make changes to how transfer students are brought into the school. Megan is an active leader through the various clubs and student organizations she is a part of.

We would like to congratulate all of our award winners this year.

An Exciting Hockey Game

By Jon Gerken

On March 7, eleven ENR alumni, students and friends attended the OSU vs. Minnesota hockey game at the Schottenstein Center. The game was thehome finale and Senior Night for the home team.

It was an exciting game, with the Buckeyes holding a small lead most of the way.

With less than two minutes to go and the Buckeyes leading 3 to 2, the Gophers left their net open to put an extra offensive player on the ice. The Buckeyes took great advantage of the situation and scored two more goals in the final minutes of the game for a great 5-2 victory. The OSU Alumni Hockey event is a popular activity for ENRAS members, as well as other Alumni Societies.

The OSU Alumni Association holds a tailgate function at Longaberger Alumni House prior to the game for those who might want to make a longer day of their alumni activities.


Career Bootcamp

By Molly Hardesty

Career Bootcamp 2015 was held on January 27, 2015 at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center. It was hosted by the Environment and Natural Resources Alumni Society and the Coalition of Student Organizations. There were 37 students representing all five of SENR’s majors and multiple graduate student programs and 15 alumni professionals present. It was quite a good turnout for a cold January evening.

Mark Dilley was the master of ceremonies for the evening and helped add a bit of humor to the evening. Panelists this year were Kate Bartter, Holly Tucker, and Larry Peck. The panelists answered prepared questions from Dilley and also opened up the floor for students to ask questions of their
own. Following the panel students and professionals broke into small groups to have more one-on-one conversations and to ask the big questions about their given field. This was quite a success with many students staying past the end remarks to keep talking with professionals.

We would like to thank all the alumni that volunteered to be on our panel and small group leaders including: Perry Orndorff, Brent Repenning, Danielle Balduff, Larry Peck, Holly Tucker, Barb Baker, Mark Dilley, Ric Queen, Brent Macolley, Jon Gerken, Nicole Jackson, Matt Perry, Kate Bartter, Lori Monska, and Amy Rether. Career Bootcamp is an opportunity for students to connect with alumni and get insight on what it is like to work in their given area of study, without fail each year a group of amazing alumni volunteers offer up their time to speak with students that are wanting the inside scoop on their field. 2016’s Career Bootcamp is tentatively set for Tuesday, January 26. If you are interested in being an alumni participant please contact us at

Important Dates/Events

Thursday, June 25th

Executive Board Meeting (all are welcomed to attend, please email for details) @ 6:00 PM

Saturday, September 12th

OSU vs Hawaii football game

Saturday, October 10th

Fallfest & OSU Homecoming
OSU vs Maryland football game