September 06, 2019 / PWGC News

Chandler Precht, Field Hydrogeologist at PWGC and a 2018 graduate from Columbia University, Barnard College, was featured in a recent article on her experience with Barnard College-Columbia University’s Brownfield Action (BA) program. The BA program is a web-based environmental science simulation that allows students to investigate the possibility of groundwater contamination in a virtual town. Professor Peter Bower “wanted to create an authentic, hands-on learning experience” to provide students with the opportunity to solve real-world, interdisciplinary problems in environmental forensics. He used a two-dimensional simulation of an environmental site investigation to create the learning experience. The BA program was launched in 1999 and receives upgrades as technology advances.

Precht shared how the BA program not only provided her with hands-on experience in the classroom, but also how it helped her in the interview process. She states,

“When interviewing for a number of consulting firms, I was asked to explain how I would analyze water, air, or soil quality, how to balance data or information from multiple sources (interviews, lab results, documents, etc.), and how to conduct an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) from beginning to end. Finally, I was asked to provide writing samples. I chose to submit my Phase I, II, and III ESA reports written during my Brownfield course. I think these set me apart from others.”

Precht expresses that the BA program was one of the most beneficial and realistic courses she took at Barnard-Columbia. She gives credit to the course for improving her communication and teamwork skills that are imperative in this line of work. Although she is not doing exactly what the course demonstrated, she is grateful that the BA program provided her with the creative mindset that is needed to tackle large-scale environmental and hazardous waste projects.

Precht in the field sampling various materials for a brownfield site.Chandler Precht in the field. Photo Credit: Barnard College-Columbia University

To read the full article, click here.

To learn more about the BA program, click here.

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