When Christine Sloan was growing up in Warren, Ohio, she loved being in nature. “I used to go exploring whenever I had a chance. I would climb trees, wade waist deep in the local ponds, and catch creatures like crayfish, frogs, and snakes. I was amazed by everything,” she says.
Now, nearly three decades later and more than 2,000 miles from her home in Ohio, Christine is still an avid lover of the outdoors—and getting paid for it as a watershed/environmental planner with San Diego County.
“San Diego is an arid region that doesn’t receive much rainfall, so conserving and protecting the water supply is of great importance to the region,” she said.
One of her projects focuses on impervious surfaces such as roadways, driveways, and parking lots, which are characteristic of urban sprawl. “These surfaces prevent rain from seeping into the ground and replenishing our groundwater because the water is swept away by gutters and drains,” she said.
Sloan is preparing a manual that will allow developers to reduce the impervious surfaces while still allowing urban growth. “It’s my goal to implement a low-impact development program to help decrease storm water runoff, allow groundwater replenishment, and protect the natural processes of the watersheds.”
Sloan received a B.S. degree in biological sciences from Wright State in 1977, with primary interest in ecology and the environment. Her thesis for her master’s degree dealt with environmental effects of pesticides. Along the way she served as president of the Golden Key National Honour Society and received the best-graduating senior award. She earned magna cum laude honors as an undergraduate and summa cum laude distinction from the master’s program.
And to think it all started with climbing trees and wading waist deep in Ohio ponds.