Kim Janci, a mother of two and natural resource enthusiast, has followed an exciting road to success. After dedicating 20-plus years to raising her two kids in the Portland area, Kim decided to go back into the workforce. She landed a job she really loved at GeoEngineers in Portland and quickly determined she would need a degree to advance within the company. In fact, Kim’s colleagues at GeoEngineers encouraged her to continue her studies as well.
After searching through the online programs at each of Oregon’s public universities, Kim chose Oregon State’s Ecampus. At that time, around 2005, Oregon State was believed to be one of the first universities in the nation to offer an environmental science degree entirely online.
Kim says she greatly appreciated the flexibility Ecampus provided for her schedule as well as its collaborative and interactive environment. She says her professors did an excellent job encouraging participation. Some of them even conducted virtual field trips to give students a first-hand look at working in environmental sciences. The Ecampus program not only taught Kim more about her major, it helped hone her computer, writing and communication skills. In 2014, Kim earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences with a focus on horticulture.
One of the most influential people Kim met in the program was her academic advisor, Dawn Marie Gaid. “She really inspired me, especially when the program got tough,” Kim says. “She was very encouraging and made me realize I could really do well in this field.”
These days, Kim believes her broad degree helped her find the niche she is most passionate about: natural resource restoration. After nine years as a lab and equipment manager with GeoEngineers, Kim is transitioning into the role of staff scientist. In this new role, Kim will begin with site assessments, collecting information, writing reports and eventually managing staff and working directly with clients. In the future, Kim hopes to help minimize the effects of climate change by restoring animal habitats, rivers and streams and other ecosystems.
Kim is thankful that her experience in Oregon State’s Ecampus program prepared and inspired her to work in a field she truly loves. She knows her passion for the environment and desire to keep learning will take her far. She’s already well on her way.
For more information on projects completed by Kim and GeoEngineers, please visit geoengineers.com/projects.