Featured Alum: Taryn Oleson

Taryn Oleson is a 2014 graduate of the Environmental Policy and Planning program at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.  She minored in Environmental Science and Public Administration and has a certificate in Environmental Sustainability and Business.  She is currently a Planner for the consulting firm, R&M Consultants Inc. in Anchorage, Alaska.

When did you graduate? May, 2014

What did you major/minor in? I majored in Environmental Policy & Planning, with minors in Environmental Science and Public Administration, and have a certificate in Environmental Sustainability and Business

What do you do now? I am a Planner for the consulting firm, R&M Consultants Inc. in Anchorage, Alaska. As a Planner, my work allows me to collaborate with the public, engineers, and community partners to equitably improve the quality of life for Alaskans and visitors. I specialize in land use, long-range comprehensive, and community park planning. Commuting by car or bike past one of the parks I helped plan, design and permit is one of the highlights of my work day.

Why did you decide to major in Environmental Policy and Planning? Water resources originally drew me to environmental studies, as reliable access to clean water is the foundation of any community, but political studies have always fascinated me as policy decisions govern the function of societies of all sizes.  Planning is where these two interest intersect, combining aspects of the environment and society into one comprehensive subject. It is about working to improve peoples’ quality of life through policy decisions and planning actions, including land use, transportation, natural resource management, and working to advance community defined visions and goals. UWGB’s Environmental Policy and Planning major was a perfect fit; it was something I could see myself being passionate about for most of my life.

What academic experience or accomplishment are you most proud of? I am proud of many experiences I enjoyed during my time at UWGB, but those I am most proud of include: being a teaching assistant for two professors, presenting two sessions at a regional conference, serving on student government, being president of the Ballroom Dance Club, and having the honor of receiving a Chancellor’s Leadership Medallion.

What is an important goal or accomplishment you are currently working on? I am preparing to take the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) exam this May to become a certified professional Planner, as well as training for my fourth triathlon.

What do you do for fun? Living in Alaska, I spend most of my free time outside hiking, camping, biking, running, and exploring in the mountains with my fiancé and friends.  I also teaching ballroom dance and love to social dancing, a passion I found through a UWGB student organization my first semester and plan to enjoy for a lifetime.


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