Diving for the Environment

Environmental science alumna Claire Leedy as an environmental diver

Claire Leedy ’20, who was in LVC’s first environmental science graduating class, travels from Pennsylvania to Maine as a biologist and scientific diver for an environmental consulting company.

“I am a member of a small but mighty crew who provides freshwater mussel surveys for engineering firms involved in various construction projects,” said Leedy.

“By doing these surveys, we can identify all species of mussels in the construction zone and provide relocation services to remove any threatened or endangered species before construction.”

Leedy has traveled the Northeast coast, learning to manage projects, enhance her diving capabilities, and protect a species that benefit our environment.

She developed her interest in diving as a teenager because of her love for the ocean and its creatures.

“Learning to dive in local quarries in Pennsylvania gave me a wonderful appreciation for cold water diving and the natural world in our backyard,” said Leedy.

That experience, combined with support from close friends, faculty, and her advisor, Dr. Rebecca Urban, professor of biology and director of environmental science, provided Leedy with the springboard for her career.

“I gained knowledge in various environmental disciplines like forestry, animal behavior, and ecology, and enjoyed a liberal arts education with language, humanities, and ethics classes. I also was able to be involved with the Wig and Buckle Theatre Company,” said Leedy.

Leedy encourages younger students to trust their passions and dreams despite any setbacks.

“Life is full of changes and shifts in perspective, but there will always be an open door,” she said. “Take advantage of every opportunity you can, even if it seems unrelated to your future goals. You never know who you will meet along the way who will help you get where you want to go.”

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