Western on the Peninsulas students thriving after graduation

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 8:57am

Ten graduates of Western Washington University’s Huxley College on the Peninsulas are currently working as environmental health specialists throughout the state.

Huxley College on the Peninsulas offers students an opportunity to earn environmental-focused degrees in Poulsbo, Everett and Port Angeles. Students can choose to earn either a B.A. in Environmental Policy or a B.S. in Environmental Science.

“Huxley’s degree programs are preparing place-bound students for valuable work in their communities,” said Nancy Bluestein-Johnson, program manager of Huxley College on the Peninsulas. “Students work to educate others in their communities.”

Of the ten graduates, two work in Clallam County, four in Kitsap County, two in Jefferson County, and one each in Mason and Pierce Counties.

Lindsey Aspelund, a 2016 graduate who majored in Environmental Science, now works as an environmental health specialist for Clallam County Environmental Health Services. Aspelund specializes in solid and hazardous waste, pollution identification and correction, and onsite septic systems.

“My time as a Huxley student helped me develop skills in prioritizing duties and organizing my time,” Aspelund said. “My courses helped me gain experience working with large technical documents which has been especially helpful with my work in permitting solid waste sites.”

Aspelund started as a student in Bellingham but after finishing most of her prerequisites and realizing she wanted a smaller school feel, she moved back to Port Angeles for the Huxley program.

“Small class sizes allowed for more networking and working closely with instructors; having evening courses allowed me to continue working and fit my schedule much better than daytime courses,” Aspelund said. “Having lab courses on weekends was a neat opportunity to travel around to different campuses and explore different communities and the environmental work that is happening in the world that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about. It was definitely the right fit for me.”

One of the oldest environmental colleges in the U.S., Huxley College is a recognized leader in producing the next generation of environmental professionals and stewards. Students with an associate’s degree can transfer to one of Western’s extension locations to complete their bachelor’s degree through Huxley College.

More information about Huxley College on the Peninsulas is available at wwu.edu/HuxleyOutreach.