Student Profile: Shaneen Beebe

Shaneen Beebe is helping the environment through business consulting. As an independent contractor for an environmental, health and safety consulting company based in Phoenix, Shaneen writes compliance programs that help to prevent environmental hazards for businesses in various industries.

Poly-ETM-9933aFrom hazardous materials management to storm water pollution prevention and chemical spill plans, her work helps companies to comply with government regulations, ensure the safety of onsite employees and keep the environment free of pollution.

Shaneen Beebe graduated with a bachelor’s degree in environmental and resource management (ERM) in 2012 and is now pursuing an ERM master’s degree as part of an Accelerated 4+1 program offered by the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Accelerated programs allow high-achieving students to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree within five years.

As an undergraduate Shaneen was interested in a variety of environmental-related degree programs, but chose ERM because it would make her the most marketable after graduation.

“With an ERM degree, you learn theoretical and practical information that you can take directly from the classroom to the workforce,” said Shaneen.

The ERM degrees introduce students to the industrial and regulatory aspects of the environmental, health and safety (EHS) field. Shaneen describes EHS as a field where science, management and progressive thinking come together to address significant environmental challenges. “In this field we are constantly trying to create an effective balance between sustainability, profitability and feasibility,” said Shaneen.

The EHS field requires individuals to be competent in several areas—water, air, waste, hazardous materials—and the ERM program is designed to cover each of those topics in detail.

Shaneen is interested in how humans and industrialization impact the environment and communities. Her previous research efforts include comparing wildlife in urban and non-urban areas to assist natural resource managers with wildlife relocation efforts associated with construction projects. Currently, she is researching heavy metal contamination to provide insight into how industrialization has affected pollution in cities and surrounding areas.

“The interdisciplinary nature of the ERM bachelor’s and master’s degrees is essential for succeeding in the dynamic and ever-expanding field of EHS,” said Shaneen. She also compliments the ERM program for its emphasis on developing technical writing skills. “My ERM classes have taught me how to take a complex scientific idea and communicate it in a way that is both accurate and understandable. Whether you are publishing your research in a peer-reviewed journal or writing a report for your employer, technical writing skills are absolutely necessary,” said Shaneen.

After completing her master’s degree Shaneen can see herself working to promote a positive culture of environmental and safety values in either the government or private sector, or pursuing a doctorate in public health.

“I will be happy working in any job that allows me to positively influence society and the natural world on a broad level—and the ERM program has made these types of jobs an attainable reality.”