Master of Environmental Studies

MES Ambassadors

The MES Ambassadors are current students who meet with prospective MES students.  Ambassadors meet with prospective students on campus or talk with them on the phone. You may even meet them at one of our info sessions or upcoming events.  If you’d like to meet with an Ambassador, please contact us.

Josh Christy

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Hi! I am a second year part-time MES student, so I am taking three years to finish MES. I am originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but I have lived in some interesting places like China and Israel. Currently I live in Tacoma and commute with my carpool down for class. The MES degree has helped me explore the environmental field. My undergraduate degree was in biology but I knew a lab was not the place for me. The interdisciplinary nature of the program allowed me to explore other fields and I found what I was really interested in: people and the environment. During my first year, I studied questions like what’s the relationship between religion and environmental degradation/conservation. This year I am designing a thesis to study farmers markets in under privileged communities. In my free time, I enjoy sports, mentoring middle-schoolers, and playing board games. I'm also happy to answer any questions prospective students may have - you can email me at

Danae Presler

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Hello! I'm a second year MES student who plans to graduate in Spring 2016. As one of the program Ambassadors, I get to reach out to prospective students, talk about the MES program, and help answer those on-the-ground questions a lot of folks have before starting (i.e. How do I make my application stand out? What's it like living in Olympia? How do I balance work, school, and social/family life? And how's this interdisciplinary thing really work?). My background is in the natural sciences (biology/ecology/conservation), but I think I'm a closet social scientist. MES has been great for me because it allows me to analyze issues like global climate change, water shortages in Washington State, or shrimp aquaculture in Thailand, from diverse perspectives and then challenges me to blend them and communicate the issues through interdisciplinary collaborations with peers. Last year I worked for a political scientist and researched ways to communicate climate change with groups of people who do not agree on the issue. A personal highlight was presenting my work at an international climate change conference in Canada (thanks to financial support from the MES student club's Professional Development Fund!). I'm not sure what's in store for me this year, but I'm excited to find out! I'm here to help, so please shoot me an email at if you have any questions!

Yonit Yogev

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I ended up in MES via a rather circuitous route. Born in South Florida, I moved to Israel in college and lived there for 11 years. I moved to Seattle with my husband in 1991, and we’ve been residents of the Pacific Northwest (more or less) since then. When I began to realize I was ready for a change in career (after 25 years in nursing), I found myself deeply drawn to natural places--forests, mountains, areas that were more isolated and remote. I’d say I’ve been an environmental activist since I was a kid, and so with the urgency of climate change upon us, I decided that’s what I needed to be doing now. I began looking at local environmental programs, and looked at the MES website first because I had known about and been drawn to Evergreen’s alternative education system. Coming into the program last year, my interests were all over the map. They included: citizen science as a concept and tool for research, effects of climate change on wildlife and wildlife conservation, environmental education, and also climate justice, including levels of toxics in the environment and the political reasons behind that, as well as the innumerable ways that globalization has inequitably affected the world’s poor. Going into the second year, I’ve got it narrowed down a bit; there are currently two areas I’m fascinated with. One is the lack of diversity in visitors to national parks and other public lands, and the second is fracking and its effects on the neighboring citizens as well as on the workers. One of the things I love about this program is the flexibility in being able to run with an idea and investigate it more thoroughly.  I did an internship during the summer at Mt. Rainier where I worked in the volunteer and outreach program. And this fall I’m doing an independent learning contract on fracking. Outside of school, I love being in the outdoors, whether it’s hiking, biking, walking, or gardening, I love to read and learn, and am a serious meditator. I’m also an amateur musician, having played the flute since I was 11. I’m so enthusiastic about the MES program largely because of its emphasis on interdisciplinarity. There’s so much room for creativity and creative problem-solving, especially in the context of working across disciplines.  And that is the only ticket to our being able to solve the challenges of climate change, which will take nothing less than a paradigm shift. The program exposes us to radical and creative thinkers—and pushes us to do and be creative thinkers, to stretch our intellects and get out of our comfort zones. Evergreen is cutting edge in the world of environmental studies, and I can only hope to contribute even a fraction back to society of what I’ve gotten out of the program so far. Welcome to all the new students, and to prospective students I say, come and be a part of this dynamic world!  Please email me at if you want to chat about MES!