College of Science

Department of Applied Environmental Science

Chris Warn '98: Environmental Consultant

Chris Warn

My professional career started while I was still a student at CSUMB working as a lab assistant in the ESSP program (nowESTP). After graduating in 1998 I went to work forKinnetic Laboratories in Santa Cruz, CA. I spent the first couple years of my career in the field conducting watershed and coastal studies including benthic sampling, stream bioassments, intertidal sampling, and stormwater studies. While at Kinnetic Labs I was fortunate enough to work on a variety of projects and worked all along the California coastline and eventually relocated to San Diego County.

wading in water

Looking to get back into research, I left Kinnetics and accepted a position at the Atmospheric Research Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA. I worked with a team of research scientists who conducted observational and modeling studies of the atmosphere and ocean. Although the work at Scripps was both challenging and rewarding, I missed the diversity environmental consulting provided. I left Scripps and joined an ecological consulting firm, MEC Analytical Systems, in Carlsbad, CA. Working at MEC were some of the best years of my professional career. The diversity of projects I worked on was amazing. I spent two summers conducting benthic, toxicological, and sediment sampling in every lagoon from the Mexico Border to Malibu, worked on bacterial source tracking projects, and also managed large stormwater monitoring programs for a variety of clients. MEC was eventually acquired by a national consulting firm, Weston Solutions, Inc., who I continue to work for as a Senior Project Manager.

fishing off a boat

At Weston I am afforded the opportunity to work on a broad range of projects and spend much of my time working with national teams to develop new assignments. Currently the opportunities I am working on range from ecosystem restoration at Lake Okeechobee, FL to developing a brownfield property in a disadvantaged neighborhood here in Sarasota, FL. The multidisciplinary background I received at CSUMB in the ESSP program provided a great foundation for my career in environmental consulting and the enthusiasm and mentoring of the ESSP staff really motivated me to be successful. The service learning program at CSUMB has always stayed with me and one of the most rewarding things I do is volunteer. I am currently the Vice-Chair of the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program's Citizen Advisory Committee. We work with the Estuary Program to provide guidance on their future goals and also distribute restoration and educational grants to the community.

towing a net

The foundation I received in the ESSP program allowed me to develop a career that is financially, environmentally, and socially rewarding and I encourage all students to make the most of their time at CSUMB and take advantage of the wealth of knowledge their instructors have.