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Merritt College Natural History and Sustainability Program Student Testimonials

The Merritt College Natural History and Sustainability (NHS) Program is an interdisciplinary program that offers career, transfer-driven coursework and three Certificates of Achievement in Natural History and Resources, Conservation and Resource Management, and Urban Agroecology. 

Through the NHS Program, students receive training for jobs such as Park Rangers, Environmental Consultants, Urban Farmers, and more. To hear from current and former students of the NHS Program, read the following testimonials or watch the video below.

To learn more about the program, visit the NHS website at https://www.merritt.edu/nhs/.


Dr. Brad Balukjian (Internship Manager; Faculty, NHS Program)

"What we do is we take students. We teach them, 'here are the animals, here are the plants, here's the ecosystem, here's how it's all connected.' There are way more jobs than people ever realize in the environmental space. You get exposure to all the different jobs that are out there. So we talk about, 'why would you want to work for a government agency versus an environmental consulting firm versus a non-profit organization?'"

Merritt College Natural History & Sustainability Program


Jaclyn Caldwell (Park Interpreter, Santa Clara County; Current Student, NHS Program)

"The Environmental Careers class I took here was really awesome and really helpful to kind of paint a broad picture of all these different types of jobs that exist in the environmental field and help me figure out where I wanted to go in it. I really just enjoy working with the public, working with kids, and seeing that 'aha' moment in their eyes when they understand a concept or just the joy of being outside or seeing a butterfly fly by, just seeing that and helping people to really develop a relationship with our outdoor spaces."


Alex Mokhtari-Fox (Restoration Technician, WRA Landscape Restoration; Former Student, NHS Program)

"I had sort of a windy road to get to where I am now. After college, I studied economics in undergrad and I didn't want to work in Finance or business. I decided to pursue an environmental career because it made me happy to be outdoors, I like working with my hands, I liked feeling like I was doing something helpful for people and the environment."

Merritt College Natural History & Sustainability hillside lecture


Ryan Jones (Park Ranger, Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park; Former Student, NHS Program)

"The class that prepared me most for this role was a Park Operations Practices and Skills class that I took. I spent 13 years in the museum world, and so was transitioning my career."


Ronnique Currie (President, Merritt Sustainability Club; Current Student, NHS Program)

"Merritt has great instructors. Every instructor that I've had has been so supportive and encouraging for me to continue my education and making it an easy transition from not being in school for a while. It's great to be a part of the community. I have more opportunities to learn about other organizations through the school [and] their partnerships."

The video was produced as a collaboration between Merritt College NHS faculty, Internship Manager Dr. Brad Balukjian, and the Peralta CCD MCPR / Peralta TV team. Filmed and edited by Joe Sullivan.

Tags: Merritt College, Students, Career Education


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