Karen Walker (BS Geology, 2003)
Environmental Geologist in San Antonio, Texas
I have been working for the same company since I graduated in 2003, AGEISS, Inc. and absolutely love it! Our office is based in San Antonio, Texas. We are a small business and do government contract work. I just had my 7th year anniversary with the company. During that time, I have had the opportunity to do a very wide variety of work, and worn many hats in the process. I have held titles including Geologist, Project Manager, Program Manager, GIS Specialist, Health and Safety Officer, and Field Reconnaissance Manager. A majority of the work I do is supervisory in nature, often times overseeing other contractor's who are doing much of the "hands on" work. I get to review their work and tell them what to do. :)
I currently live in Texas, although my job takes me to many other states, depending on current contracts. This year I am working mostly in New Mexico and travel there at least twice a month. The last few years, most of my work was local, with occasional travel to Maryland. I have traveled many other places for my job, as well, including Maryland, Missouri, Utah, Virginia, Arizona, South Carolina, and Nevada. I have worked on Environmental Impact Statements, Environmental Assessments, Managed Environmental Restoration Programs on Air Force bases, and supported contracting and program efforts for management of environmental cleanup and other natural resource programs for the Air Force, Army, Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Energy.
In 2005, I worked on a high profile Environmental Impact Statement for the Department of Energy, encompassing over 600 miles of field work in Nevada. I have participated in various types of field work, technical work, and supervisory work in my position. Sometimes the work is not Geology, at all, but other types of natural resources, which is fine with me if I get to work outside. Because of my background and hobbies, I have also had the opportunity to do some biological field work (fish tissue sampling, collection of plant and big game data, collection of sensitive species data, and bald eagle studies). The beauty of working for a small company is that you get to work on a wide variety of projects, which keep you from getting bored.
I couldn't have picked a better place to earn my degree (in Ellensburg), especially as a single parent. I feel classes and staff at Central are exemplary, and prepared me well for my future, and the small town atmosphere was awesome for raising a child.
I currently live outside San Antonio in a small town called New Braunfels, with my daughter, who is now 16. She will graduate high school in a year and a half. Maybe then, I can move back to the mountains. I love the Pacific Northwest and would like to end up there again one day. The Geology there is a little more interesting than it is around here - and much better for hiking. I vacation in Washington almost every year to visit friends, do some hiking, and sometimes attend the festivities at Jazz in the Valley. (I see you there often, Nick Zentner...). When I'm home, I tube the river that runs through town, listen to live music, and go fishing on the coast when I can. The attached photo was taken on Mt. St. Helen's when I was hiking there last summer (June 2010).Information last updated on Jan 10, 2011