The Environmental Science Society (ESS) does more than recycling and planting trees. It gives opportunities to students who want to do something meaningful locally, nationally or internationally. The program involves undergraduate and graduate opportunities.
Environmental science is innovative to solve problems. ESS is open to anyone who is interested in environmental science and hold bi-monthly meetings. Internationally, the group has worked in Ecuador, Columbia, Turkey and Russia. They are well associated with the World Bank and United Nations.
“Locally, ESS fixed a dam for Mobeetie, Texas,” graduate student Josh Brownlow said.
The dam was leaking and no one had information on it. The society fixed the dam by digging a trench and filling it with high-density polyethylene to block the leak.
The society also holds an event every year for Boy Scouts of America in the area. It provides an environmental science badge for those who attend and has 12 stations for the troops who attend to learn about what environmental science can do. For example, one of the stations teaches about hazardous waste, how to use the equipment to test for the toxicity and to dress in the hazardous waste protective suits.
ESS builds résumés for anyone going into the environmental science field and the Environmental Science department has a 100 percent employment rate.
According to Dr. Jim Rogers the society is “on the science,” meaning they use science to solve every day problems and are approached by local, national and international organizations to help provide solutions.
The ESS provides “hands-on experienced and already certified” individuals by the time they graduate and move into their careers, said Rogers.
“This is one of the best [programs] in the USA. You take chemistry, microbiology and the environmental science classes are something special,” said Brownlow.
The ESS also provides the cleanup standards for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). According to ESS President Will Mimbs, WT’s website will have a joint web page with TCEQ that has a database that shows “how clean does ‘clean’ have to be.”
The ESS often gets grants in order to do research. Last year, three of the members applied for the Killgore Research Grant and all three received it. The grants provide the students with hands on experience and give the students an edge when it comes to applying for jobs in their field.
Mimbs said even if the student is not an environmental science major, “everyone has a role in environmental science.”
Lawyers, writers, engineers and all of those who want to be part of something where they can see a direct result of their efforts has a place in the ESS.