Hunter Geography Alumni Focus


An Interview with Isabel Potter, BA, Environmental Studies, 2014
Edited by Christina Santiago, Hunter College, English major


Isabel Potter is currently receiving her Master’s degree from Virginia Tech in Natural Resources. She graduated from Hunter College with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Geology during the year 2014. Isabel is currently looking into continuing her education within the GIS field after her receiving her MA.

What does Environmental Studies mean to you?
It begins with a personal interest and a way to learn about possibilities that scientific research offers. I get to be involved in what I care about while working outdoors and in other settings. The industry is filled with ample opportunities. I am currently working for the MTA Environmental Compliance, storm water management department, where I have the hands-on experience that deals directly with environmental problems. So to me it means being personally involved in reversing negative effects on the environment and creating a better outcome. My current position will allow me to move closer to animal conservation which is what I would ultimately like to do in the future. It will be a tough field to work in but I know anything is possible. I believe if you are concerned about something you can go out and change it. Geographic approach allows someone to assimilate data from both large and small areas in order to see spatial patterns better and draw unique conclusions.

How has Hunter Geography helped your future in Environmental Studies?
My time at Hunter College allowed me to adjust and adapt quickly to the job and fieldwork environment. I have learned about many subfields within environmental science and I was able to apply the knowledge I gained in the classroom to my work. Hunter had a lot of flexibility when it came to putting together a class schedule and made it easy to take classes that were focused on environmental studies. By familiarizing the students with all of the disciplines that fall under environmental science, the professors facilitated learning within what can become a demanding environment.

What is it like being a student in NYC?
If there is one thing I can say about being a student in New York City is it is definitely different from being a student anywhere else. As soon as you step outside you are in the real world. It’s helpful because it does not allow a college mentality of isolation and puts you closer to the realistic expectations of commute and living. It keeps you grounded and is full of diversity in all aspects.

Published: January 11, 2019