Nick A. Kiahtipes
Where is your hometown?
How did you discover urban ecology?
Simply put: It was happenstance that I saw it on the U’s list of degrees offered. I decided to take a couple of classes and fell in love! Long version: I registered to the U as a biomedical engineer. It quickly became apparent I didn’t want a lab job. Then I fell into the business school. After completing all the business core classes and declaring accounting as my major, I decided to take a semester off school to re-calculate my education and save tuition in the process. Those few months of stepping back and reflecting on what I wanted out of life were so important to me and the confidence I have moving forward. My next semester of classes were two Urban Ecology and some Gen Ed classes. One of those being Prof. Goldsmith’s CMP2010 class. I instantly fell in love with the dynamism and care that Goldsmith brought to the profession. I never looked back after that.
What are you currently doing?
After finishing classes in August of 2019 for my business minor, I stayed at ARUP as an HR assistant for a few months while I looked for an internship/job. I also did some work for a volunteer community council in Carbon County, Utah (my hometown). This included creating an employee recruitment video for the area. I eventually found an internship with the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative within the Community Development Office. I love the breadth of projects that I get to work on. This internship has given me valuable experience in community planning and the challenges that planners face. I plan on staying in this position until I leave for school.
What’s next for you?
I will be a student in NTNU’s international Master of Urban Ecological Planning program in 2019. This a two-year program that is hosted in Trondheim, Norway. The first semester, we will spend four months in India learning and doing community engagement and planning.
How did your experience at the University of Utah lead you to the Norwegian University?
I loved the U of U because it allowed me to grow and search for what I wanted to become. From orientation to graduation, it was great having such an array of colleges and specialties on one campus to learn from and engage with. Because of that, I was able to have a major and two minors. As for the urban ecology program, in particular, I loved the intimacy of the program. I came to know each of the professors and soaked up as much as I could from them. From taking nearly every class of Goldsmith’s to working on a Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund (SCIF) project with Dr. Hinners, the program gave me a great blend of higher education/research with real-world application.