Jaclyn Hatala Matthes

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Dartmouth College

"My undergraduate education provided not only essential technical preparation for my present research, but was also the source of the intellectual motivation to pursue a career environmental science in the first place. Before I 'discovered' the ESPP concentration during my sophomore year, I felt a bit at a loss about how to negotiate my various interest in many scientific disciplines. The ESPP concentration allowed me to put together an interdisciplinary course of study with a rigorous foundation in ecology, chemistry, physics, and statistics. I also appreciated the breadth of study in ESPP through the requirements in economics and policy, and I have drawn on my experience in these courses while interacting with colleagues from different academic fields in my current work. I found the process of developing, researching, and writing a Senior Thesis and the mentorship that I received during this experience particularly enjoyable, and it inspired me to pursue a career in environmental research.

I've learned that the ESPP concentration was an excellent way to develop fundamental skills in scientific investigation, and that there are opportunities to apply these interdisciplinary skills to many different topics and projects in beginning one's career after Harvard. So my advice to ESPP students would be to not stress too much about your next step after graduating, and to be open to considering the wide range of possibilities that the ESPP concentration opens up for future work."
- Class of '07