Streamkeeper Nick Chen shares career navigations with IAS students


IAS alum Nick Chen recently spoke with faculty member Raissa DeSmet’s senior students about his career navigations since graduating in 2016. Chen is a Restoration Technician and Ecologist at Adopt A Stream Foundation who earned his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies.

Chen originally joined Adopt A Stream Foundation in 2017 as a part-time employee and docent naturalist, taking care of the Nature Store, membership services, Gate House, entry trail, and Streamkeeper Academy Programs on the weekends. During the weekdays he worked for Washington Conservation Corps AmeriCorps as a crewman focusing on did restoration planting, invasive species removal, and fencing projects. Chen joined the foundation on a full-time basis in 2018.

Chen encourages students to volunteer, network, and not be afraid to apply for jobs that have a long list of overwhelming experiences. “Even if you don’t meet some of the requirements, companies may hire you if you have a good attitude and are willing to learn,” he says. “If you don’t apply, you will never know if you could have gotten that job or not. Even if you don’t get the job, you can use that experience to prepare you for future interviews.”