2023 Outstanding Graduates: College of the Environment

Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

This year's Outstanding Graduates from the College of the Environment, selected by their faculty, include a grad who served the community on the Sehome Neighborhood Association, another who completed two internships in environmental communication, and a NOAA Hollings Scholar who will work as a whitewater rafting guide this summer.

WWU Communications reached out to all the 2023 Outstanding Graduates to share their stories and photos. We've been celebrating these grads on social media and here at WWU News. 

Meet the Outstanding Graduates from the College of the Environment: 

James Detke

Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy

James’s professors describe him as an engaged, innovative student and team member. He is grateful to have been able to take classes and make connections across multiple departments at Western. Along with his major in urban planning and sustainable development, James completed a geographic information system certificate and a minor in sustainable design. He has been a student board member for the Sehome Neighborhood Association and the secretary of the Sehome Hill Arboretum Board of Governors. This summer, he begins work with the Washington State Department of Transportation as a multimodal transportation planner.

Madison Gard

Environmental Science

Madison Gard, Environmental Science

Maddie, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science – marine emphasis and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, was NOAA Hollings Scholar with an internship with the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program to study the relationships between fish and coral while making materials for experts and the public alike. She managed the Marine Mammal Ecology Lab and coordinated 33 fellow students in two separate observational field studies to examine harbor seal predation impacts to both adult and juvenile salmon populations in Whatcom Creek. Last summer, Maddie combined her two degree interests by studying sustainability in Mexico. This summer, she’ll work as a whitewater rafting guide. 

Clary Greacen De La Montagne

Environmental Studies

Clary Greacen De La Montagne, Environmental Studies

While maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Clary worked as a trip leader for AS Outdoor Center excursions and WOOT, served on the College of the Environment’s Diversity and Community Affairs Committee, and completed two internships in environmental communication. She also collaborated on a field study program for Indigenous middle and high school students, focusing on cultural resurgence and place-based learning. After graduation, Clary will return to her hometown of Arcata, California, to continue working with people of all ages building connections to self, community, and environment.

More 2023 Outstanding Grads