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Benjamin (Ben) Versteeg

As a current master’s student, Ben has long been interested in the topics of environmental science and natural resource management. Ben’s interest in the environment started when he was a Boy Scout. Through Boy Scouts, Ben was introduced to the outdoors and participated in several community service projects as well as his own Eagle Scout Service Project. Now as an Eagle Scout, Ben strives to use his knowledge and skills to find new ways to solve environmental problems using data science. After graduating California State University, Monterey Bay (2022) in Environmental Science: Technology and Policy, Ben took part in a job opportunity for the Orange County Environmental Resources Department located in Southern California. During this opportunity, Ben assisted environmental scientists on a wide range of projects involving water quality, watershed management, environmental policy, regulatory compliance, and management of aquatic resources. Some of his responsibilities included collecting and processing environmental water samples from storm drains, creeks, and coastal waters. He also used water quality and flow monitoring tools to conduct inspections, analyze, and document results using mobile data collection software/apps. With these experiences, Ben’s hope is to make a significant, positive impact on the environment and is studying environmental data science at University of California, Santa Barbara in order to do so. Specifically, he would like to address issues with the environment such as natural resource management, damaged ecosystems, biodiversity loss, and pollution through applying geospatial analysis and remote sensing, data visualization and communication, and modeling environmental systems.

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