Name: Lauren Seydewitz, LEED AP BD+C
Current Title: Senior Environmental Scientist and Director of Sustainability
Office Location: Home Office (Midwest Division)
Years at GS&P: Almost 7
Meet Lauren Seydewitz, our latest Faces of GS&P feature. While she didn’t realize her 10-year old dream of being an astronaut and the first woman on Mars, we’d say the impact she’s making through a career in environmental science is pretty out of this world! Read on to see her comments on how she feels strong mentoring has played a large role in her ability to grow and how it can positively help us all.
Where did you grow up?
East Hampton, Connecticut
Where did you go to school?
I spent my undergraduate career at the University of Delaware and earned my master’s degree at the University of Maryland.
When you were 10 years old what did you want to be?
An astronaut who would be the first woman on Mars!
What made you choose your profession?
In my case, it was “who.” Park Ranger Andy. It was during a family trip to Arches National Park in Utah when I was 16 that I was inspired. Park Ranger Andy guided us on a hike through the park and helped us to feel connected to all that we saw. The park is beautiful on first glance and quite incredible when you stop and look at the ecosystems that call it home. At the end of the hike, he told us that the national park system is grossly understaffed with limited resources and yet still has to protect the Nation’s wildlands for generations to come. To add to the challenge, thousands more visitors are coming to parks every year. He then posed the question to all of us as we sat watching a breathtaking sunset over the red rocks. “How are we going to protect our parks?” I took it to heart and became an environmental scientist.
What is your favorite project you’ve worked on while at GS&P?
Writing the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA’s) new national jamboree location in West Virginia - the Summit Bechtel Reserve. Tom Dietrich (Environmental Engineer, Columbus, OH) and I camped with the scouts during the 2013 national jamboree to audit their operations and document opportunities for improvement. We were paid to go camping!
How has GS&P helped you in your career development?
I was initially drawn to GS&P for the opportunity to work for one of my mentors who was a leader in the environmental field. Since joining the firm, mentors and leaders at different levels have been open and actively supportive of my career goals, including helping to network and navigate internally to formalize a firmwide sustainability program.
What advice would you give for people who aspire to be where you are?
Embrace your passion to make a positive difference by first figuring out what you want to do. Set a goal, then find a mentor or two who can help you come up with a plan to get there. Be purposeful in your actions to make progress towards your goal and remember, if other people are involved, patience and midcourse adjustments will be needed. Have faith…you will succeed.
What’s your personal motto?
Extend your limits.
What’s on your bucket list?
Visit all 50 states! I have two more to go: Nebraska and Iowa.