Name: Cory Shumate
Organization: Metric Environmental, LLC
Position: Environmental Scientist
Location: Indianapolis, IN
O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, MPA/MSES in Water Resource Management
Old Dominion University, BS in Ocean and Earth Studies
Can you tell our students a little bit about yourself and the work that you do?
I am a 2018 graduate of the IU O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs graduate school and work as an Environmental Scientist at Metric Environmental, LLC in Indianapolis, IN. I perform various field surveys (i.e. wetland delineations, stream habitat assessments, and bat surveys) and write the corresponding Section 401/404 permits, Indiana Department of Natural Resources Construction-in-Floodway permits, and mitigation plans for transportation projects. I’m originally from a small town in southern Indiana but I have moved up and down the east coast growing up!
What did your professional journey look like from college to your position today?
After graduating from Old Dominion University in 2013, I commissioned into the United States Navy. Upon my separation, I still sought a meaningful career in a STEM field that I thought would have a positive impact on the world. I attended the O’Neill School because it promised just that. During my time there, I learned about environmental laws & policy and scientific methods which have been applicable in my professional career. While in graduate school, I interned with the Indiana Clean Lakes Program and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management Watershed Assessment & Planning Branch. Upon graduation, I started with Metric Environmental as an intern and was offered full-time employment within two months.
What skills are most important in your role?
My position with Metric Environmental requires both hard and soft skills that I learned at the O’Neill School! For my position, I utilize wetland delineation and stream habitat assessments that I learned from my laboratory classes and I use what I learned from my environmental law classes to interpret both federal and state regulations! I also utilize soft skills to collaborate with public and private stakeholders in order to ensure transportation projects are completed in a timely and efficient manner. I learned such skills from my capstone courses and the networking events offered at the O’Neill School!
New professionals are often told to “pay their dues,” what is your advice for a successful first year in the workforce?
My best advice for a successful first year is to always keep an up-beat attitude, work hard, and never turn down an opportunity! Particularly in smaller companies, you may be asked to perform tasks that are outside of your area of expertise or comfort zone. Take these as learning opportunities and ask plenty of questions! These opportunities will give you new skills and help you develop as a professional. In addition, your employers will take notice of your hard work and it will pay off in the long run!