Q&A: Casey Ivanovich '17, High Meadows Fellow at the Environmental Defense Fund

Feb. 25, 2019

Casey shares her post-graduation plan of working at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the rewarding aspects of her job and how she knew this was a good first step. 

What are you doing now?

I am currently working at the Washington, D.C. office of the EDF performing climate science research and communications support through a High Meadows Fellowship supported by Princeton.

What do you like the most about this position?

I most appreciate the variety of experiences I have been able to gain so far through this position. About a third of my work is strictly scientific research, which relates most closely to my academic training through my major in geosciences and appeals to my analytical nature and love of quantitative assignments.

Another third of my work is program support, providing guidance on scientific issues for the policy-focused members of our global climate team. This portion of my work allows me to keep up-to-date on the constantly shifting realm of international climate regulations.

And the final third of my work is composed of publishing external climate communications pieces, such as blog posts. Each of these roles is extremely different and keeps me excited for the new challenges that appear each day. I really feel as though I am developing a well-rounded understanding of the role climate plays in our lives, both physical and political.

What are a few experiences that helped you realize this post-graduation plan was a good first-step for you?

Throughout my college career, I accumulated a variety of academic and work experiences. I focused a lot on science research through our junior papers and senior thesis but spent most of my summers working at environmental non-profits in less quantitative roles. I had enjoyed both of these experiences and by senior year, I was still unsure of whether I wanted to pursue a career in environmental science research or environmental policy.

Ideally, I hoped I could secure a post-graduation position that allowed me to dip my toes into one of these roles, and this fellowship position has actually allowed me to get a good glimpse into each one. I also definitely made use of the advising at [the Center for Career Development], as well as consulting Evan Schneider who helps lead the High Meadows program, to see if this fellowship would be a good fit. Their guidance was extremely beneficial!

Did any previous work experiences play a part in your decision to pursue this role?

I was actually able to intern with the EDF on a different team (the Fishery Solutions Center of the Oceans Program) the summer before my senior year. I fell in love with EDF and their approach to environmentalism and knew that I wanted to pursue a full-time position with the organization if possible. The High Meadows Fellowship provided me with the perfect combination of a science topic I had studied in class with the organization I had become so passionate about.