Rochelle Reuter, Environmental Studies Major, Interviewed by College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

05/07/2013 - 11:54

We sat down with Environmental Studies major, Rochelle Reuter to learn about her experience at the UA. The San Jose, CA native is graduating in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies.

Environmental Studies is offered through the School of Geography & Development. Majors who focus on physical geography study the land itself, topics such as climate, soil, and water; those in cultural, or human, geography explore the relationship between people and the land. To learn more about the School of Geography & Development, please visit the website To watch a video of Rochelle discussing her major, click here.

Why did you decide to major in Environmental Studies?

  • I chose Environmental Studies mainly because I wanted to find a major that involved a lot of people interaction and the environment.

What are your career aspirations?

  • I want to get involved in water policy and water management in Arizona and California. I wasn’t really exposed to how scarce water is and how much of an issue it is until I came to the UA.

Do you have a favorite class?

  • I have a couple. One of my favorite classes was an INDV 101 class taught by Dr. Jennifer Roth-Gordon in Anthropology called “Race, Ethnicity and the American Dream.” That was really the first time I ever thought about race from an academic standpoint. Another class that I really liked was “Geography 304: Water, Environment and Society.” It was taught by David Hecklin, a Ph.D. student, and that was the first class that opened my eyes to the water issues in Arizona. It addressed social, environmental, and political issues and really got me interested in having a career in water.  Another favorite class of mine is called, “The School Garden Program Workshop.” It’s taught by Sallie Marston and Morgan Apicella, who are both Geography teachers. Students are assigned to an elementary school to help enhance the school garden, educate the children about sustainable agriculture and encourage them to have a healthier lifestyle. I love going out to my school and seeing how excited the kids are to work in the garden. It’s a really rewarding experience.

Were you involved in a field research project?

  •  Last year I took a class called, “Environmental Research Methods.” One of the final projects was we went to Mt. Lemmon and came up with a hypothesis for our research project. My group and I came up with the hypothesis to measure tree density between the North and South side of Mt. Lemmon and see if there was any sort of variation between Douglas Firs and Pino Pines. We went up to Mt. Lemmon, collected the data, entered it into Excel and we were able to do some GIS work with it. It was really my first exposure to the process of collecting data and I’m really glad I did it.

Have you had any jobs or internship that contributed greatly to your college experience?

  • Yes, I have been working at the Water Resources and Research Center on 6th and Campbell for two years, and my position is a student office assistant. As I continue to work there, I am able to contribute to more projects that the researchers are doing. It’s definitely my first foot in the door and contributes to my aspirations to be a water policy researcher. I am very thankful that I have this job and they are absolutely amazing and inspiring people to work with.

Do you have any advice for new students interested in your major?

  • My advice for new students would be to get to know the professors and create a good relationship with them. I’ve had great experiences with all the professors and I’ve found it to be very beneficial to engage and reach out to them. 

What is your favorite place to eat or grab a coffee on campus?

  • My favorite place to eat on campus is On Deck Deli. I think their bagel sandwiches are amazing. My favorite place to have coffee is at Café Luce. They have free wifi, a great environment to study, and really good coffee.

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