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Michael Lange

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)

Where do you work? How long have you worked there? What do you do?

Business manager.

How is your profession related to Environmental Science?

The area of our company I work in is the Energy, Environment & Infrastructure (E2I) Business Unit, an industry leader in providing environmental, energy, infrastructure, and engineering services to the DoD, DOE, EPA, and other federal and commercial clients, nationwide. With 2,500 employees and a network of over 50 offices in the U.S., some of the services we provide to a diverse client base that includes:

  1. environmental compliance
  2. restoration
  3. impact studies
  4. natural resources and planning
  5. health and safety
  6. information management
  7. water resources
  8. engineering (environmental and utility)
  9. technology evaluation
  10. optimization
  11. chemical biological/chemical demilitarization
  12. homeland security/critical infrastructure protection/safeguards and security
  13. emergency preparedness
  14. training
  15. energy management
  16. energy modeling
  17. IT systems analysis and integration
  18. e-commerce
  19. national security
  20. systems safety analysis

What are the most rewarding aspects of managing your career?

Working with a diverse range of clients, from commercial petroleum and energy companies to government agencies. My work changes from project to project and continues to provide a challenge. The field continues to grow and there are opportunities for career development and advancement.

How has your BYU education benefited your career and would you recommend any specific course background for your field?

Obtaining a degree from BYU opened the door for me to work in the environmental sciences and has provided me with the necessary technical understanding to succeed in my career. Courses in soil science, geology, hydrology, chemistry and geochemistry, technical writing and computer science have proven to be the most valuable for those in my field of work and I would anticipate this to continue into the future.

What changes do you see or expect in your profession in the near future?

Our company is looking for growth in energy development, modeling and management, environmental remediation, restoration and compliance, water resource management, and environmental and utility engineering. IT systems analysis and integration is becoming integral to the success of any business endeavor and an education that includes a solid understanding of IT systems and business will continue to prove extremely valuable for career development and enhancement.

There is a common misconception of lumping environmental science with environmental activism. How can our department best address this perception problem with our students and employers?

Develop a curriculum based on environmental resource management, compliance, remediation and engineering (combined with energy development/management/modeling). Develop a synergistic relationship with the outstanding BYU business management programs to provide your graduates with best-in-class business management skills so they will become leaders in their industry. Develop mentoring and internship programs with energy, environmental consulting, and state environmental agencies so your students are involved in real-world projects and obtain training that will enable them to enter the marketplace with a running head-start. Classes should include studies and real-world models for situations graduates will encounter when they enter the job market, enabling them to discuss projects and courses that relate directly to the jobs they will be interviewing for. Graduate programs and mentor-research programs should focus on environmental resource management, remediation, compliance and engineering, not subjects and research that is purely academic and that has no application in the marketplace.

How can students best network within your profession in order to gain employment or internships? Does your company have internships that may be of interest to our students?

TParticipation in Professional Conferences and volunteer

Does your company have internships that may be of interest to our students? Who should they contact?

Our company has full time employment opportunities. Please refer to thiswebsite for contact information and employment listings.

Do you have any general advice for our students or our faculty with regard to your profession?

AI recommend tailoring the course work towards the NEPA regulations. Most of the work in the area of Environmental Science is a result of the regulations required by NEPA.

Would you share a favorite memory of your BYU professors?

My favorite memories are working with the faculty in the Environmental Science program, both in the soils lab and in applied research and courses. The program was small enough to be concerned for each individual student and the professors truly seemed to care for each person.

Environmental Science & Sustainability in the News
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Air pollution costs Utahns billions annually and shortens life expectancy by two years

November 18, 2020 09:13 AM
New study led by ESS undergraduate Isabella Errigo reveals the cost of air pollution for Utahns’ health and pocketbooks
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BYU researchers help test wastewater for COVID-19 infection rates in Utah

May 18, 2020 09:58 PM
ESS professor Zach Aanderud and his team of students use cutting-edge molecular methods to track COVID-19 in municipal wastewater.
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How You Can Have a Positive Impact on the Climate Change Emergency

November 23, 2020 07:20 AM
COVID-19 isn’t the only worldwide emergency affecting billions of people—climate change continues to threaten us with devastating implications. Here are some ways to help.
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Studying climate change at opposite ends of the Earth

ESS undergraduate Natasha Griffin has presented at conferences in Europe, ridden in a helicopter and visited both the North and South Poles to figure out how humans are affecting the Earth.
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The price of air pollution

We all know intuitively that polluted air isn't good for our bodies or communities, but just how much is air pollution costing us? ESS undergraduates and faculty led a statewide study to answer just that.
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Influencing Environmental Change from Iran to Utah

April 08, 2020 10:36 AM
ESS PhD student Sara Sayedi wanted to use science to improve policy in her home country of Iran, but politics limited her work in the public arena. Now at BYU, she is influencing policy at a global scale.
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After a mega fire: how waterways are impacted by wildfires

BYU team investigates ecosystem resilience to wildfire, linking plants, streams, climate, and society
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Tree Heart Attacks: Aspen Clones Dying

Professor Sam St. Clair from the Environmental Science & Sustainability program takes the vitals of one of North America's keystone tree species.
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How environmental justice affects all of us

June 24, 2021 12:30 PM
Environmental degradation harms every individual by causing pervasive decline of life on Earth, but it doesn’t impact everyone to the same degree. ESS professor Ben Abbott shares three ways to improve your understanding on how environmental justice affects you and your community.
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Saving the world's water (and humans) one little stream at a time

January 16, 2018 10:00 PM
ESS professor Ben Abbott presents a new tool to fight nutrient pollution. Streams can be “sensors” of ecosystem health, allowing both improved water quality and food production.

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Fighting bad air quality with ... dance?

September 11, 2018 10:00 PM
Dance professor Keely Song and ESS professor Ben Abbott teamed up to promote BYU's free UTA passes to students, employees, and their families.
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Dr. Gary Booth: A Lifelong Legacy

July 03, 2020 03:29 PM
While at BYU, Dr. Gary Booth taught a wide range of subjects. Students and faculty alike appreciated Booth and his impact on the college.
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BYU analysis of 115+ studies: Masks powerful & cost-effective in combating COVID-19

July 23, 2020 09:56 AM
After reading 115 studies on COVID-19, ESS faculty and students published non-technical report on the effectiveness of masks at slowing the spread.
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Why are aspen dying?

June 27, 2013 10:00 PM
If Utah’s quaking aspen appear to be quaking more than usual this summer, the trees have reason to tremble, says a Brigham Young University biologist. In dappled forests across the West, aspen trees are battling deadly killers from heat stroke to bud-nipping predators to tree “heart attacks.”
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Permafrost Collapse and the Global Ecosystem

March 17, 2020 11:10 AM
ESS professor Ben Abbott co-authored a study in Nature on the permafrost climate feedback. Working with an international team, he found that abrupt permafrost collapse could double carbon release.
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Water cycle diagrams are giving us a false sense of water security

June 10, 2019 10:00 PM
A new study in Nature Geoscience led by ESS professor and students found that the global water cycle is incorrect even in modern papers and textbooks. 85% of diagrams show no people, despite human domination of water at a global scale.
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Plant & Wildlife Sciences Across the Map

June 29, 2020 02:18 PM
Professors and students from Environmental Science & Sustainability lead research projects from Antarctica to Alaska.
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Study finds bedrock is teeming with microorganisms protecting water quality

February 03, 2019 10:00 PM
The solution to nutrient pollution could be right below out feet. Literally. New study reveals the active and dynamic world of groundwater microbes.
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Interdependence and Stewardship: Piecing Together Humanity’s Relationship with the Earth

By Carlee Reber
June 05, 2019 01:06 PM
Will we show up in the geologic record in millions of years? The Anthropocene suggests the answer is yes: collective human impact on the environment will leave a definitive mark in future bedrock.
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