Empowering students to make positive choices that lower their daily ecological footprint is one of the best parts of her work, Alexis Alloway says.

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Alexis Alloway

What do you do? I work on the education team of the environmental consulting firm Triangle Associates [in Seattle]. I develop and teach conservation-themed education programs on topics such as waste reduction, recycling, climate change and water conservation. Many of these programs are school-based and include classroom workshops, all-school theatrical assemblies, teacher training [sessions] and public outreach events. I am basically a professional guest speaker at schools.

How did you get started in that field? After getting a B.S. in environmental studies, I started teaching leadership and environmental studies with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Eventually, I grew tired of traveling so much, and I found a part-time job as a classroom presenter with Triangle. These days, I work for Triangle about 80 percent of the year, and I still get out to instruct NOLS courses every now and then.

What’s a typical day like? There is no typical day for me at Triangle, which makes my job awesome! During the school year, I spend a lot of time traveling to different schools to teach classroom programs. I also meet with students, school administrators and custodial staff to provide hands-on technical conservation assistance for schools. On my office days, I market and schedule programs, develop new curriculum, design and fabricate educational materials, train staff and manage logistics.

What surprises people about what you do? People are surprised that local governments, utilities and waste haulers designate funds for education programs, and that we can provide these programs on their behalf free of cost to schools.

What’s the best part of your work? The best part of my work is empowering students to realize that their daily choices impact our planet, and they can make positive choices that lower their ecological footprint. It’s also inspiring to work with the same schools for years and see measurable differences in their conservation practices over time. We explore conservation through games, experiments and collaborative activities, so every day I’m out in the classroom is pretty fun.

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