Christie Howe, '08

Alum turns environmental passion into "green" career

October 22, 2009

Christie Howe, a 2008 University of Richmond graduate, has always been active in environmental causes. As a student, Howe was a member of the Sierra Club and RENEW, and after her junior year, she interned with the environmental agency, Friends of the Fort Point Channel in Boston.

“When I was growing up, my parents always encouraged me to be environmentally aware, but it wasn’t until I got to Richmond that I realized this was something I wanted to make into a life long career,” said Howe, who majored in psychology with a minor in environmental studies.

Now a clean energy and green schools intern with the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, Howe works to assist individuals, organizations and businesses to install renewable energy technologies, serving as the primary contact for public inquiries and grant approvals. As part of her position, Howe is able to meet with energy consultants, architects and engineers, and she takes part in meetings with state organizations.

“Today, it’s not hard to convince people that renewable energy is important to our planet,” said Howe. “Unlike fossil fuels, clean energy technologies produce no emissions and thus help combat global warming. I love that I’m able to learn new things every day. I want to stay in the environmental field for the rest of my life.”

Howe found her position through idealist.org. Before applying, she sought the advice of a Career Development Center advisor for assistance with her application materials. Her advisor helped her narrow down the organizations she was interested in.

“The CDC staff are there to help you tackle the job search and find opportunities that fit with your interests,” said Howe. “CDC staff members were my sounding board for different ideas, thoughts and feelings, and they helped me organize my search, which could have been a daunting task if I tackled it alone.”

As for the future, Howe hopes to continue her work with the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust and one day pursue a master’s degree in an environmental field.