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March 12, 2021

Where Are They Now? Following the Lives of Chesapeake Conservation Corps Members

Katie with electrofishing gear at a research stream.

Episode 2: Katie Geiger
Interviewed: March 4th, 2021

The Federation is proud to serve as an incubator for young professionals as they enter the environmental field. This blog is the second of a series which will provide insight on the lives and careers of these individuals beyond their time with the Federation. This week we bring you tales of another all-star Chesapeake Conservation Corps member alumnus- Katie Geiger! Katie worked at the Federation from 2012-13 and has embarked on an exciting career journey ever since.

Katie joined the CCC after graduating from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland where she majored in biology and minored in Coastal Studies. While at the Federation, she found a passion for water quality testing, such as lab nutrient analyses. She completed a capstone project surveying benthic macroinvertebrates (aquatic insects) throughout tidal water systems in Anne Arundel County. One of her favorite memories was going rock fishing with the Federation staff as part of a team building day!

After her time with the Federation, Katie spent a few years figuring out what her next career step would be – while working at a pizza shop! She wanted to pursue her passion for water quality testing and searched for a job that allowed her to do so while offering lots of time in the field. She ended up landing a position as a seasonal field technician with the National Ecological Observatory Network (now known as Battelle Ecology) in Front Royal, VA, where she worked on a wide range of field projects such as water quality monitoring, beetle collection, and small mammal trapping. All pictures in this blog are from her time with this organization.

Katie dragging a tick cloth to collect ticks at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.
Katie holding a peromyscus leucopus, white footed mouse, to collect blood and data measurements for small mammal research.










After four years in this role, Katie transitioned to working at a wastewater plant, Alexandria Renew Enterprises, where she gained lots of lab experience. However, she missed spending time in the field, and searched for a job where she could still focus on water management while getting to work outdoors. She found this combination in her current position as a laboratory analyst for the City of Manassas. In this role, she works on all sorts of water quality projects, such as drinking water compliance, storm water control, BMP inspections, and nutrient analysis. Her favorite part of the job is inspecting storm water management facilities, and she enjoys working with an awesome team of coworkers. Because this type of work is essential, Katie’s work was minimally impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the future, she plans to continue a career in storm water management and is also interested in focusing on habitat restoration.

Katie still uses many skills she learned at the Federation, such as nutrient analysis, excel data manipulation, and water quality monitoring, in her current job. It is inspiring to watch young professionals discover their niche in the world of environmental restoration and follow that passion in their future career path. We wish Katie all the best as she continues to make the world a better place!

– Chloe Obara, Chesapeake Conservation Corps 2020-21