Kate Nicholson ’21 was one of the first graduates of Shippensburg University’s sustainability programs and she’s already doing big things in her field. Introduced in 2017, the sustainability program was created to meet a forecasted 6.8 percent growth of jobs in the field of sustainability. With many of those jobs in the Franklin, Cumberland, Adams, Dauphin and York counties, Ship is well positioned to provide for this need in the region and beyond.

Now working for Ursa Space Systems, Nicholson is part of a team providing satellite intelligence that allows businesses and government entities to order customized data and analytics in order to make informed decisions within their organizations.

“Simply put, with Ursa’s focus on global monitoring and security, as well as the more recent addition of advanced maritime monitoring, Ursa Space Systems’ goal is to improve global transparency in economics, environmental sectors, and beyond,” Nicholson explained.

Nicholson attributes much of her career success to the faculty support she received at Ship.

“Not only did they challenge myself and my classmates to simultaneously learn the content and develop our soft skills, they also provided a support system to students that created a comfortable and safe space to ask questions and not be afraid to trip and fall along the way. In providing that safe environment, it allowed me to become more comfortable with being uncomfortable and taking chances,” she said.

Offered through Ship’s Geography/Earth Science Department, the sustainability program combines the concepts of sustainability and technical skills of geotechnology and geographic information systems. Graduates of this program pursue careers in all levels of government in planning, environmental conservation, resource management and community development. Many graduates in sustainability will also pursue careers in the non-profit sector with conservation organizations, and in industry as environmental consultants, geographic information system analysts, among many others.