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PEOPLE - Alumni Stories 
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Conversation with Hunter Swanson, CEP 2021

Nov 10, 2021

Hunter's Rowan University Experience


I started at Rowan as a Civil Engineering major in 2017 and eventually switched to Community and Environmental Planning after learning more about the planning profession through a couple of classes. While at the School of Earth and Environment, I was introduced to many different studies and topics, pushing me to also minor in GIS, Environmental Studies, and Sustainable Building Technologies. The courses within our school helped me become a well-rounded student planner and were taught by great professors that always provided a positive learning environment. I graduated from Rowan in Spring of 2021 feeling prepared to start my career, which I credit to my experience at Rowan, specifically within the School of Earth and Environment and the Community Planning + Visualization Lab.  


Working in the Community Planning + Visualization Lab


I started working as a research assistant for the Community Planning + Visualization Lab in the Fall of 2019. I continued this position until the summer after my graduation in 2021 and still assist on the Glassboro Food and Health Equity project for the lab. Initially, my work involved producing map compositions for real-world plans/projects, helping expand my GIS skills, and producing interactive web apps. Dr. Meenar also gave me the opportunity to enhance my report writing skills, as I was able to co-author a published magazine article and a review paper on biophilic urban planning. The experiences I had at the lab helped me apply my learned planning skills to real-world situations. Such experiences assisted with obtaining my current position as an Hourly Environmental Services Trainee at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) Bureau of Mobile Sources in Trenton, NJ. I’m currently assisting on multiple projects that monitor emissions coming from motor vehicles, encouraging electrification and diesel retrofitting statewide. 

The Future


In the future, I plan to continue working within the NJDEP, preferably within my current Bureau. I’m hoping to eventually obtain a job that is more planning-oriented within the department, preferably performing community outreach and other fieldwork activities. My current role includes some GIS duties and I’m hoping to continue building upon my mapping skills as my career progresses. I also plan to eventually further my education in planning and environmental science once I find the right masters program for me.



I’ve played soccer competitively for most of my life and enjoy supporting my favorite professional team on television. While at Rowan, I played on the club team and currently continue to play in Saturday leagues with friends. I also enjoy skiing in the winter and hope to travel out west to do so soon. Aside from these hobbies, I also enjoy playing video games, spending time with friends/family, and attempting to improve my golf game. 

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