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Erika Koontz

Class of 2017
Major/Minor: Environmental Studies/ Biology, Spanish and a concentration in Chesapeake Regional Studies

Campus Involvement
  • President of WAC’s Habitat for Humanity Club
  • GIS Apprentice I
  • Peer Mentor
  • Cater Society of Junior Fellows
  • Student Environmental Alliance
  • Chino Farms Bird Banding Intern
  • Kappa Alpha Omicron, the Environmental Science and Studies Honor Society

High School: Glenelg

Hometown: Woodbine, MD

Recommended Class/Professor: Anything with Dr. Casado Presa (she’s tough, but you’ll learn so much) and Dr. Scott’s Introduction to Natural Resource Economics

What does WC mean to me?

A community of friends. Even as a freshman, I know and am friends with countless numbers of people, many of whom are upperclassmen. Here, I feel like an actual person instead of a number. I’m grateful to go to this school and have made so many awesome memories already.

What are my summer plans? 

I’ll be living in Beaufort, North Carolina and working at the NOAA Marine Lab for 10 weeks on a GIS and mapping project for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). The project goal is to better understand the distribution of habitats within and around the sanctuary and hopefully create a case to expand the sanctuary boundary, which encompasses over 2,900 nautical miles.  I will also be spending a week aboard a NOAA research vessel surveying and sampling in the FKNMS! 

Why did you choose your major? 

I’ve always loved the environment, so choosing to study it was a natural decision. I chose Environmental Studies over Environmental Science because I think it incorporates a broader set of classes and topics. I wanted to have plenty of lab classes, but I was also interested in economics, philosophy, and anthropology.

What is my favorite spot around Chestertown?

It’s a tie between Evergrain and the shoreline. Evergrain has a rustic-chic atmosphere that is quite unique, but the shoreline of the Chester has fresh air and beautiful shore birds.

What is my favorite quote?

“Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal.” -Henry Ford