Ryan Workman: Working to Create a Vibrant Community with an Environmental Science Bachelor Degree
The first thing you notice about Grace College alumnus Ryan Workman is the artistic set of tattoos that cover his arms and his confident, positive demeanor. Spend a little time with him, and he will also reveal his fascination with the connection between water and community, a passion that’s driven his career path.
This summer, Workman celebrates one year as an environmental scientist at Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., a community-minded consulting firm. Previously, he spent six years working for the City of Warsaw Stormwater Utility. However, his love for the environment stretches back to his childhood in Auburn, Indiana.
Workman credits his friends for stoking his love for lakes as a teenager through tubing, swimming, and kayaking. This passion steered him to enroll at Grace College, where he dove headfirst into the environmental science bachelor degree with professor Dr. Nate Bosch.
Workman devoted one of his college summers to working at the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams, a scientific research and education center at Grace.
“During his brief but fruitful time at the Lilly Center, Ryan exceeded our expectations,” recalls Dr. Bosch. “His work collecting data and communication skills were first-rate, and I eventually asked him to look into special projects. Ryan researched the potential for increased E. coli in our lakes during specific events and studied the effects of toxic chemicals historically released near lakes.”
Thanks to Workman’s diligence in serving the community, he transitioned to working for the city of Warsaw after graduating with his environmental science bachelor degree. In his position as a Municipal Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) coordinator, he oversaw stormwater and utility management, program development, and water quality.
Workman points to two projects he is particularly proud of. The first is the Beyer Farm Trail enhancement project that incorporated terraced seating and restored a prairie ecosystem. The other is the shoreline restoration initiative, which stabilized over 4,600 linear feet of shoreline along Center Lake and Pike Lake.
In conversation with Workman, a consistent theme emerges: community engagement through water quality.
“Each business I’ve worked for is community-oriented,” Workman said. “I’m proud to be affiliated with companies that are focused on making a positive impact on the environment.”
Workman has been an eager participant of Stantec in the Community (SITC), an initiative through his company that empowers employees like Workman to connect with issues that matter to their community. This summer, Workman returned to his alma mater to volunteer at the Lilly Center’s Critter Encounters, which introduces students to various species living in local lakes.
Today, there are dozens of students pursuing an environmental science bachelor degree, like Workman, who are sharpening their skills and deepening their knowledge at the Lilly Center. And, also like Workman, many of these students choose to stay in northern Indiana to serve the natural world they learned to love as children.
If you want to earn a degree that equips you to impact your community, learn more about the bachelor of environmental science degree at Grace.