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Third time’s the charm!

Here’s a single-minded student who didn’t let earlier disappointments break his resolve.

By Kristen Lotze

December 14, 2016

It’s fair to say Bill Clarke has a lot on his plate.

How much? Well, how about a full course load ranging from 16-18 credit hours, exams, a prestigious internship under the Energy Advisor in the Environmental Protection Agency, responsibilities as a research student, plus a wife and stepdaughter to care for. Oh, and a baby on the way, just for good measure. Quiet days are rare in the Clarke household.

And yet, his altruism and love for the environment cannot be assuaged by a busy schedule. With the end of his college career nearing, Clarke still found time recently to make a weekend trip to Cannon Ball, N. D. He organized donations and set up veteran tents to help the Native American nations as they peacefully stand against the oil pipeline threating their sacred lands. It’s a cause near to his heart.

After unsuccessful attempts at the University of Arizona and Pima Community College, Clarke, 34, began his journey to obtain his environmental science degree at MSU Denver in 2014. It was Clarke’s love of science that drew him to the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences program at the University, where he has found his niche because of “the atmosphere of caring teachers and faculty, and the resources on campus.”

Clarke has certainly learned a lot during his time at MSU, but attributes the learning experiences with his professors as one of the biggest keys to his success. Keeping open communication and “listening to their wisdom” have helped greatly as he navigates his collegiate, and eventual, career path.

When not managing his academic, familial and various other responsibilities, Clarke spends time with his hobby cultivating corals (sustainably and efficiently, of course) into a lucrative venture as a means to pay for his educational expenses. The pastime has proven helpful to his educational goals as well, as it keeps him focused on overall environmental sustainability and water chemistry.

Clarke is set to graduate in December 2016. Along with his degree in environmental science, he has a concentration in water management and hydrologic science, as well as a certificate from the One World One Water Center for Urban Water Education and Stewardship. He plans to continue his education after graduation, and aspires to earning a doctorate someday.

Until then, he’s hoping to find a happy home gaining hands-on experience in the environmental and water field, and eventually working for the EPA. Clarke’s future may not yet be set in stone, but he is sure of one thing, “Whatever I do, it will be to serve my community and the environment first.”

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