SCS Staff Professional, Spencer Nichols, supports clients as a Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Specialist. He earned his BA in Political Science/International Relations & Environmental Studies with a Minor in Public Policy at Tulane University. Spencer is passionate about sustainability; in high school, he volunteered at a non-profit organization working closely with community members to create organic farms on school campuses. These farm projects provide healthy food to local food banks while at the same time educating students about the environmental and social benefits of organic agriculture. Spencer also led a service trip to Latin America to help agrarian communities restore their environment after regional industrial agriculture had caused widespread degradation. Spencer became Chapter President of the non-profit Global Student Embassy (GSE) and led a group of students in fundraising and environmental efforts. During his year-long tenure, he worked on environmental and community-based initiatives in California and Nicaragua, culminating in a fully-funded scholarship program for Nicaraguan students to visit GSE Chapters in the United States.
In 2017, Spencer met SCS Senior Project Manager, Tracie Bills, through his network, and learned about the SMM work she performs for SCS clients. They stayed in touch and would occasionally meet to discuss opportunities and the evolving environmental field. When the role for a SMM Specialist opened up at SCS, Spencer landed the job! SCS Engineers was a perfect fit for his interests, education, and entrepreneurial spirit. Five months in, Spencer still loves the work. In particular, he says he appreciates working in the environmental industry and enjoys learning something new every day.
Spencer works for numerous clients and finds the variety of his work rewarding because the focus is on recycling and organics management challenges. He is gaining experience in waste management sustainability and zero waste practices, as well as managing records, producing project updates, and conducting recycling characterization studies. For one of his clients, Spencer is working to identify recycling markets for wood so the materials can be repurposed instead of buried in landfills.
Spencer also conducts outreach, customer assistance, and technical assistance for another client in Contra Costa County, California. He supports their environmental and regulatory initiatives by “educating their clients on materials management best practices to ensure improved outcomes and an excellent customer service experience for everyone involved.” His mission is to help reduce business waste while improving diversion of materials away from landfills.
To be responsive in his role and for his customers, he works in a fast-paced environment. This challenge helps him grow professionally every day. Spencer’s passion for helping businesses reduce waste in a practical manner helps him work toward his ultimate goal to impact his community in a positive way.
Spencer is contemplating enrolling in graduate school to earn a Sustainability MBA; he also wants to continue his work as an environmental consultant in the Non-Profit Sector in his free time. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and photography – all in keeping with his passion for protecting our environment for future generations.
Well done, Spencer!
Find your career at SCS Engineers – We’re always looking for those with an entrepreneurial spirit, who find working for their clients, community, and the environment a rewarding journey!
SCS Young Professional, Hydrogeologist Nicole Kron, recently finished her second session of Skype a Scientist, a program in which she Skypes with classrooms and talks to kids about her work as a professional geologist and her journey to become a scientist. The Skype a Scientist program connects students and teachers with people in scientific jobs to help attract kids to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) pursuits.
Skype a Scientist matches scientists with classrooms around the world; teachers are able to choose the type of scientist that will match their classroom’s interests. Participating scientists, like Nicole, then skype with the students for 30 to 60 minute Q&A sessions that can cover any topic – from their particular expertise to what it’s like to work as a scientist to their favorite pastimes. The program helps students get to know a “real scientist” and about their career in a STEM arena.
Nicole has completed two sessions so far – one in May and one in June, and she has agreed to stay involved with the program going forward. “It’s so much fun!” she says.
Some of the questions Nicole has answered include:
During these sessions, Nicole talked about geology, work-life balance, self-confidence, and her hobbies. The ninth grade class was particularly interested in her new venture to make French macarons as well as her love of dancing.
Nicole says she really enjoys participating in Skype a Scientist because, “It gives
me the opportunity to show students that scientists and engineers are well-rounded
people with many interests.”
An SCS Marketing Manager, Sarah Hoke, added: “I love to see our folks making an impact in the community.”
It’s never too soon to start recruiting the scientists of the future!
Nicole and Sarah both work at SCS Engineers in the Madison, Wisconsin office. SCS Engineers provides career opportunities across the nation to talented individuals who bring value to their clients and in their communities.