Georgia College Front Page

December 2018: Environmental science senior wants to be a hero


Jacob Dietch at Oconee River, doing research on the effects of wastewater in wetlands with Dr. Samuel Mutiti’s class.

Jacob Dietch

Major: Environmental Science

Hometown: Alpharetta, Georgia

Why environmental science: I chose this major to be a hero and a scientist to help save our Earth and its resources for the sake of future generations and for the longevity of Earth and its abilities to provide a home for life.

Activities: Environmental science club; running club; student assistant director of Sustainability Council; spearheaded composting project from 2016-2018 to reduce MAX food waste; founding father of ATO.

Studied abroad: at San Salvador Island, Bahamas. I went there to understand the changes of ecology and community in an ecosystem that faces adverse effects of climate, ocean level rise, resource scarcity and growing human population in a low-income community. 

Favorite professors: Dr. Al Mead’s sheer depth of knowledge seems to know no bounds. He challenged us to learn difficult material. The knowledge I gained really broadened my overall views and showed me how important it is to be culturally curious and strive to build one’s cultural diversity. And Dr. Bruce Synder is incredibly understanding and engaging. He’s always posting job/internship opportunities on Facebook and other outlets for students to see. Not many professors post such important information on a regular basis on these social media pages. It’s because of those actions that he helped me land an internship right after graduation.

Favorite class: Ecosystems of Ga will probably be my all-time favorite environmental class, because of all the lectures were given in widely different ecosystems from many different professionals who had many different viewpoints. We camped and traveled heavily, and it felt like my entire time in this class was one massive field study.

Advice for first-year students: It’s okay to not understand what you’re good at or what your capable of. The point is just to try. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, don’t be afraid to raise your hand and say, “I’ll do it.” Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself to new opportunities.

Changes in college: I definitely can say I’m far more emotionally intelligent and confident in my abilities. I know to a much finer detail my strengths and weaknesses. I am far more confident now. More than ever, I am ready to put myself to the test and dive into the adult world, because I know what I want to do.

Future: Going into the Coast Guard! Woohoo! Lately, I realized there are many certifications I need in order to get the jobs I want to try—like wild land firefighting, field ecologist, park ranger and, hopefully, professor. I need experience in the field. I need new skills. I need diversity and a dynamic environment. And I need to be exposed to a lot of different challenges and experiences, if I want to be successful. Lastly, I’ve always wanted to be someone’s hero, a rescuer. Going into the Coast Guard will help me fulfill my dream of civic duty and inspiring others. 

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