His interest in water resources led Marty to pursue a career working in water policy.
Martin, known to his classmates as Marty, graduated in Spring 2013 from Emory & Henry College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in French. After two years of graduate–level research at Northern Arizona University, he took a job at the Arizona Department of Water Resources. He currently works as a Water Resources Specialist where he takes an interdisciplinary approach to water resources management. Marty has always been interested in anything related to environmental science. When asked for his interests, he immediately listed “eco-systems science, water availability and regulation, and environmental policy.”
During his undergraduate studies at Emory & Henry, Marty traveled to 15 different countries including Turkey, Morocco, Greece, Italy, Andorra, Germany, Austria, Spain, England, Wales, Iceland, and France, where he studied for 6 months. He said, “International experience drives my interest in water conservation because access to clean drinking water is a human right.” Currently, he is conducting research on the decomposition of leaf material by microbes in streams and the transfer of nutrients to the aquatic food web. To Marty, one of his most memorable experiences in the Emory & Henry Honors Program is the thesis writing process. He said, “it helped to shape my understanding of science writing and is what got me to where I am today.”
Who to better learn from than those who have experienced what you are experiencing now. Therefore, we used this opportunity to ask Marty a few questions that you as a Senior in high school or a Freshman in college may have been wondering about yourself.
Q: Why did you choose Emory & Henry College?
A: I wanted to go to college at a small, historic institution with professors whom I could get to know well and a community that encourages intellectual curiosity. Emory & Henry definitely met those qualifications.
Q: How did your involvement in the Honors Program influence your overall experience at Emory & Henry?
A: Often, my course work would facilitate interesting discussion. The Honors Program provided an opportunity to synthesize this material with my peers as we challenged each other on individual viewpoints. I learned that the more we engage our world with critical thinking, the more we see that most issues don’t have one answer. The Honors Program also heavily emphasized the importance of travel and global citizenry. These are just some of the components of the multi-disciplinary academic experience that make up the Honors Program.
Q: Would you change anything about your Honors experience? Details?
A: I would have figured out what my major and academic focus was much earlier, then buckled down and finished my core classes much earlier. This would’ve allowed me to enjoy the benefits of the Honors experience in rewarding ways. Although I was very happy with my experience, I could have finished my non–Honors classes stronger.
Q: What advice would you give to first-year Honors Scholars?
A: Learn from my mistakes. It might be better to be confident in your choice of major from day one. At the very least, you’ll have your required courses done in your first two years and you'll be able to enjoy the “liberal arts” structure of Emory & Henry College.