Olin Reed ’21, Environmental Science

Gaining Real-World Experience to Preserve the Real World

Olin Reed

Between high school and college, Olin Reed ’21 traveled across the U.S., visiting state and national parks, national forests, and other public lands. The long road trip inspired him to pursue an environmental science degree at NVU-Johnson. “I figured that I should do something to help preserve places like that, do whatever I can to help better the world around me,” he says.

At NVU, Olin is getting real-world experience early on. He’ll pursue an independent study using his work for his father’s Hyde Park-based land-planning business to help with the research of his NVU academic adviser, Les Kanat. “At NVU, there are a lot of hands-on opportunities. It’s not just lectures,” Olin says. Some of his classes involve fieldwork such as studying rocks and testing streams.

For his independent study, Olin will learn how to map land and test soils for the septic systems that his father’s business designs and installs. Soil systems are important in environmental science. “What my father does is something I could do in the future with an environmental science degree,” he says.

NVU Opens Up Many Career Options for Environmental Science Students

With a variety of fields where he could use his environmental science background — biology, chemistry, geology, renewable energy and others — “I feel like there’s a broad range of things I could go into after graduation from NVU,” says Olin, who lives in Morrisville.

One of his interests is designing wind and solar farms, which involves soil testing. “The big dream is to do research in Antarctica” related to renewable energy, he says.

Working as a ranger at a state or national park also appeals to Olin. “The big reason I’m doing all of this is to help preserve the natural world,” he says.

For Olin, NVU-Johnson is the best place to learn about preserving the natural world. “The community and people here are great,” he says. “It’s an open-minded community.”

Faculty Work With Students to Help Them Succeed

And the faculty cares about students and their success.

When Olin had to be out of the state for an extended time because of a family emergency, his professors supported him so he could finish his courses online. “It was just amazing having their understanding and flexibility to make it all work,” he says.

Faculty and staff made his transfer to NVU from another college work, too. “The process was pretty easy. The administration was super helpful in walking me through what needed to be done and always answered any questions I had,” Olin says.

Outdoor Activities Make NVU the Perfect Place for Him

Outside the classroom, NVU-Johnson is a playground for Olin, with kayaking, hiking, camping, and other activities for people who love the outdoors. “We have all of that available to us,” he says. “It’s a great area.”

The location is his favorite part about being at NVU. “The views from the campus are just gorgeous,” Olin says. “It’s a beautiful place to go to school.”

A student wearing a hat and glasses works in a lab.

“Everyone in the science department gets great internships. Even if it’s not a job you think you could see yourself doing, it gives you experience, builds your resume and lets you know if you like that type of work.”

– Alec Jones ’20


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