Alumni Stories

Kelsey Byrd '13

After college, Kelsey worked on a fishing island in Maine doing community based health. They had a community coalition, taken straight from her geography curriculum, that looked at community solutions for youth substance abuse, aging in place and fitness and nutrition. After two years in Maine she made a career jump to college coaching at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. As a college coach, Kelsey engaged in issues of race and class every day working with athletes to help navigate a very privileged and white college campus. While it wasn't a big part of her job, she found her time as a geography major at Dartmouth very helpful to knowing how to talk about and facilitate conversations about difficult topics. Finally, Kelsey is currently in the process of making the shift back to community based work. In the fall she's starting an MBA program in Design Thinking at the California College of Arts that she hopes will be a spring board back into community based work. Kelsey feels a geography degree has stayed with her since her time at Dartmouth and continues to be useful in every job she's held.

Kim Hamer Hulse '84

Kim has worked at the National Geographic Society for the past 30 years  —where she is currently the Vice President of Education.

Although she believes she could not have predicted that she would have landed in the world of formal education, she absolutely wanted to have a career that used her Geography degree—and I found it!   Kim was recruited to work at National Geographic in 1988, when they were just starting an education outreach program meant to restore the teaching and learning of geography back into the nation’s schools.  As the program developed and grew, and education policy did its pendulum arc from emphasizing reading and math to a focus on STEM, our mission became one of infusing geographic concepts and skills into the K-12 curriculum overall.

Dan Gaulin '82

Dan went directly to graduate school at the University of North Carolina Department of City and Regional Planning and then to a career in affordable housing finance and administration, first with the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development, then with the Massachusetts Dept.  of Housing and  Community Development and for the past 11 years as a self-employed consultant.  Geography at Dartmouth was great preparation for his career and he has no doubt that its reputation helped him gain admission to

UNC which is a top tier planning school.   He was always, and continues to be,

fascinated by the question of why different places look the way they do, why

they grow  and shrink and how and what factors shape regional economies.   In

addition,  he loves to travel and it is more fun when you have a basic understanding of geography.

Chuck Martin '82

After leaving Dartmouth Chuck attended the University of Kansas where he received an MA (1985) and PhD (1990) in geography. Since 1989 Chuck has been a professor in the geography department at Kansas State University, where he's served for the last 7 years as department head. His research over the last 15 years has focused on heavy metals stored in a relatively rural drainage network (Lahn River) in central Germany.  Obviously, his geography degree has had a major influence on his professional career!

Jacob Dudek '08

Jacob had an interest in architecture and urban planning that he wanted to explore further. An opportunity came up in Vail, CO to work for a real estate developer there. This was 2009 and effectively the real estate market had completely dried up so his foray into architecture and development was short lived.

How My Geography Major Prepared Me to be a Product Designer

I am a Geographer-come-Product Designer. In interviews and otherwise, many people ask me how this came about. I happen to think that the transition is a rather natural one. After all, Geography examines how humans shape environments and vice versa. I am sharing my story to encourage and motivate Geographers to consider a design career (or at least not to disqualify themselves from it). I also want to encourage those hiring to consider candidates with a Geography background. To read more:

Nicholas Steffen '66

After graduating, Nicholas was commissioned in the Navy and began flight training, getting his wings in February 1968. Nicholas spent much of his time in the western Pacific with tours in Vietnam,Okinawa, and the Philippines. During that time Nicholas got to fly into Korea, Japan, Twaiwan,Hong Kong,Singapore and Thailand. He also spent some time in the Indian Ocean as well as Iran. After retiring in 1988, Nicholas flew for the airlines until he retired for good in 2004.

Courses in meteorology and oceanography as well as air photo interpretation were very helpful. I still enjoy traveling but these days would rather drive than fly.

Charlie Grant '11

After a brief stint working for an education technology company in Boston, in 2013 Charlie joined into business with his father pursuing the development of commercial and utility scale solar arrays in the State of Vermont, and today the company, Essex Capital Partners, owns and operates facilities around the state with a combined generation capacity of 5megawatts.     As an undergraduate, Charlie took Geography courses in GIS,Political Ecology, and Economic Geography.   This background has direct relevance to his current work, which includes selecting appropriate sites for solar development based upon physical criteria, interacting with State and local planning and environmental agencies, and navigating the public policy issues surrounding energy and the environment.    He lives in Cambridge, MA and hopes to pursue a Masters in Business Administration  in the next few years.