“As a student at Shenandoah, one of the things that I found most helpful was the exposure to different types of careers in the environmental field,” states Beth Clark Groth ’98. “One of our field trips was to the Rouss City Hall in Winchester where we met a variety of staff members, including the local planner. I was very interested in government, particularly planning after this trip.”
Inspired by her visit to City Hall, Groth is now a planner for the Charles County Government in Maryland. A large portion of her job involves reviewing plans for proposed development in the county and determining the potential impact to cultural resources, including standing structures, archeological resources, Maryland byways and locally designated historic and scenic roads. Groth considers this work to be very rewarding. “Many of the projects I work on involve public outreach. When the county commissioners finally approve a plan that has been in the works for one to two years, it rarely gets to this point without lots of community involvement. It is always enjoyable to see democracy in action at the local level.”
Groth’s foundation in environmental studies has allowed her to exercise a balance in her work between development and preservation of natural and cultural resources. “In my opinion, it is critical to have a good understanding of the natural environment when working in a place like Charles County that has an abundance of natural resources and a rich cultural heritage. Preservation of landscapes, for example, is a very important tool to protect the natural environment, but also to protect culturally significant areas.”
Groth recommends that all students take advantage of the career resources provided to them and consider jobs in the non-profit sector.