Jessie Doyle: President’s Graduate Award

By Sam Tanner
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Photo courtesy of Jessie Doyle

As graduation approaches for the California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) Class of 2019, several key students have been nominated for official graduate awards. Jessie Doyle is one such student, receiving the President’s Graduate award for exemplary regional stewardship.

Doyle began her graduate program in the Fall of 2017 and is excited to finish on time this spring. Her major is applied marine and & watershed science and with her graduation on its way, Doyle’s plan to gain a marine & watershed science master’s degree is about to be realized. After graduation she is ready to pursue a career as an environmental scientist.

Doyle wanted to apply her skills towards working on a real-life problem as far back as her arrival at CSUMB. Some of the environmental issues Doyle is focused on are wildfires on watersheds and how they affect the ocean, or freshwater ecology and stream wildlife. Another project Doyle mentioned is large-scale distribution modeling. She said she prefers lab work, though she wants to make it clear fieldwork is always an amazing opportunity.

Based on her work at this school, Doyle is more than prepared. In her first semester, Doyle served as a TA for a geographic information systems class, taking it on herself to make sure her class did well. According to her nomination, Doyle has taught 80 students in this subject during her time at CSUMB. Another example of her commitment is her hands-on training of four undergraduate students. Doyle even went so far as to lead a research project that looked at the 2016 Soberanes Wildfire and its environmental impact.

The letter nominating Doyle for her award this year made mention of her additional activities outside of research. She is a regular volunteer locally, taking part in campus activities and larger community work. One example is her work for LandWatch, a group that promotes the responsible use of land in Monterey. Another is the California Wildlife Day event called “Bug Fun,” enjoyed by countless local children.

Doyle’s most impressive accomplishment may be something she did in her first semester as a graduate student alongside Dr. Dan Fernandez and the Sustainable Cities Program. Together, Doyle and Fernandez designed a Geographic Information System for use in Seaside. The project was so successful CalFire followed suit in using the program, and Doyle has since established a working relationship with them.

With all this hard work considered it’s clear Doyle is out not just to further her own education, but to help others navigate through theirs.

Doyle herself attests, accomplishing all of this wasn’t easy. In her first year she had to face the challenge of finding a balance between her school time and various jobs, something many students at CSUMB can relate to. Things were difficult for her as she tried to find the right advisor to help her achieve her dream of becoming a graduate student, until she met Dr. John Olson.

Doyle recognizes Olson as a great advisor and a key figure in her time at CSUMB. She is extremely grateful for their time spent together and his help in arranging some of the activities in which Doyle has been involved.

With her advisor having helped her get this far and a good resume of work already under her belt, Doyle is confident about her life after graduation. Whether it’s volunteer work, involvement in environmental programs or helping other students, Jessie Doyle has more than earned her reward for Exemplary Regional Stewardship.

As she graduates with the Class of 2019, CSUMB looks forward to where her path takes her next.

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