Jeff Kassner, SoMAS alum and former Director of the Town of Brookhaven Department of Environmental Protection, met with Marine Conservation and Policy students on Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 and gave helpful advice on pursuing a future career in local government. Kassner worked for the Town of Brookhaven for 35 years, beginning low on the totem pole, and worked his way up to Director of Environmental Protection. Even though he has retired from his position as Director, he remains an active environmental advocate through freelance work, environmental consulting and volunteering with several organizations.
In his talk, Kassner highlighted the significant role that local governments can play in environmental conservation through land use management. This is helpful to students looking to have the largest impact on conservation efforts. And what is the most successful way to make a difference? In his experiences in trying to talk science with government officials, Kassner found that they quickly lost interest if the language and material was too complex. He suggests, instead, to translate the science into easy to understand knowledge that people can appreciate and use effectively.
Meeting with Kassner was a great opportunity for MCP students exploring a career path in government policy.