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As an NSU undergraduate, Brandon Fuld sought opportunity and found inspiration from a travel study course in Ecuador. The experience and knowledge gained through the course led to a senior-year internship with an engineering consulting firm in New York.
By the time he graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science/Studies, Fuld had transformed that internship into a full-time position. Today,
Fuld is an environmental manager for Skanska U.S.A., a worldwide project development and construction group that tasks Fuld with multi-million dollar public works projects.
“It has been quite a journey,” said Fuld, who credits his experiences as an NSU undergraduate for inspiring and preparing him for a career in environmental science. “The trip to Ecuador was probably the most eye-opening trip of my life.”
Fuld’s interest in the environment led to his enrollment in a travel-study course called Amazonia Cloud Forest Biogeography. During the trip led by associate professor Barry Barker, Ed.D., he and other students conducted research on the rain and cloud forests, watched a volcano erupt in the middle of the night, and experienced the local people and culture around Baños, Ecuador.
“Brandon is a good example of self-motivation and the desire to learn,” said Barry Barker, Ed.D., associate professor at the college. “I believe the environmental science/studies program provided a rich atmosphere for his ability to explore various options in the field.
“He had a profound insight after the travel study program in Ecuador, and I believe the impact of that experience is still with him today. The other major factor was his internship in New York, which led to his current position as an environmental manager for a large firm,” Barker said.
“At NSU, I realized I could work as an environmental scientist and delve into multiple areas of construction and construction management and be out in the field all the time,” said Fuld, whose current job encompasses multiple facets of environmental science, regulation, construction management, policy implementation, and other areas.
“During my senior year at NSU, I did the internship, and that was really a foot in the door. Within two weeks of graduation, I had a full-time job. That is how I ended up in the place I am today,” he said.
“Dr. Barker alone made me appreciate what I have always loved. He does fantastic work. It may not be the most glamorous or the easiest work, but he brings you to places to learn about everything from the wildlife to how the politics work in these countries,” Fuld said.
“I would never have experienced this anywhere else––the way we conversed with the locals, or walked into the bear cages with a zookeeper,” Fuld added. “These experiences solidified my desire to pursue environmental science.”