College of Science

Environmental Science MS

ENSCI Student Conducts Research for Burleson Consulting 

Jessica Sutton conducting field work near a sand dune


Jessica Sutton, a current Environmental Science master’s student, recently completed an internship with Burleson Consulting Inc. as part of her Professional Science Master’s (PSM) project. Jessica was tasked with developing a 400-hour internship that helped employ the skills she gained in the classroom. 

Burleson Consulting Inc. is recognized as a leading provider of environmental compliance and engineering services for federal, state, municipal, and industrial clients throughout California. They have extensive experience in protocol biological surveying, habitat mapping, wetland delineations, and biological assessment. Notable past clients of the organization include the Bureau of Land Management, Caltrans, and the Bureau of Reclamation. Burleson Consulting has a strong history of hiring CSUMB graduates, with six AES Alumni currently employed in their offices. 

We recently touched base with Jessica to learn more about her experience interning with Burleson alongside several CSUMB alumni. Check out her interview below for more insight. 

In 3 - 4 sentences, describe the work you are doing at your internship site.

I primarily conducted surveys for the endangered Smith's blue butterfly at Marina Dunes Preserve and assisted in creating maps and other deliverables for the Marina Dunes Preserve Annual Report on behalf of the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District. Additionally, I assisted in monitoring restoration success on neighboring properties by conducting survivorship and line intercept transect surveys for dune aster and coast buckwheat. I compared these data to restoration success criteria through statistical analyses and prepared a technical memorandum to report our findings.

How has your work related to the courses you are taking at CSUMB? Do you find yourself utilizing the new skills you have gained through the ENSCI program? 

The courses I am taking at CSUMB have been directly applicable to the work I conducted in my internship. The majority of my tasks were centered around collecting/analyzing field data, creating maps in ArcGIS, and writing technical reports, all of which were skills either learned or further honed in my courses.

In a few sentences, how is your project contributing to your professional goals? 

My project aligned very well with my professional goals, as this is the type of work I see myself doing in the future. 

What has been your favorite part about your internship? 

My favorite part of the internship was the like-minded individuals I had the privilege of working with. I was able to build connections that will undoubtedly help me continue moving forward in my career.

How did you find out about this internship? 

I discovered the company via an online search and simply reached out to them to inquire about potential opportunities.

What is your favorite part about being a graduate student at CSUMB?

The many opportunities it creates.

What advice would you give to students looking to gain professional experience in environmental consulting? 

Volunteer and build connections with people who are in your field of interest, as well as proactively reach out to companies to ask about opportunities. 


Congratulations on completing your internship, Jessica! We look forward to seeing where your professional endeavors take you.