My name is Emerald Laija, Emy for short. I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. I did my undergraduate studies in Environmental Science at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). I then travelled to another desert area and completed my masters in Environmental Studies at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada (UNLV). I’ve always had an interest in waste management, particularly radioactive waste. By chance, I attended a job fair in Las Vegas where someone from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was looking to hire a person to work at EPA’s Hanford Project Office. Based on my interest in radioactive waste and my educational background, it was a good fit. That is how I ended up working on Hanford.
I work as an Environmental Scientist for EPA and mostly deal with projects on Hanford’s Central Plateau that involve contaminated groundwater. I also handle public involvement for our Hanford office. I’m interested in increasing awareness of Hanford and identifying ways to encourage younger generations to become more engaged.
To connect with Emy Laija or another mentor, please click here.