Laura Sauermilch (BS Environmental Geology, 2005)

Spill Responder in Vancouver, Washington

I have been working for the Washington State Department of Ecology since March of 2005 and as a Spill Responder since January of 2007. My days are filled with spills, drills, and haz mat thrills. I assess and manage spills or releases resulting in possible contaminations to land, air, and water in Southwest Washington. I enjoy the spontaneity of the job and the unique opportunities it makes available, but I really enjoy driving the "environmental ambulance", a big old pickup truck with everything I could possibly need to respond to any type of call. My BS in Environmental Geology definitely helped me get my foot in the door at Ecology, however once I got the job, I had to complete quite a bit of on-the-job haz mat and investigator-type trainings.
My husband Jason and I just bought our first house here in Vancouver, Washington. He works for GE at a power generator plant as an electrical instrumentation and control technician. We have two dogs Polar and Kenai, and spend a lot of our time outside with them camping, hiking or playing at the park. We enjoy what the Portland area has to offer along with the Columbia Gorge and the Pacific Coast. We intend to stay here for quite some time and may possibly start a family within the next five years. Although I was only at CWU for five quarters, I value the education, friendships, and experiences I gained there.