With more than 35 years of experience in his field, Dr. David Johnson comes to Texas State Technical College as the new Environmental Technology-Compliance Specialization instructor.
The U.S. Marine Corps veteran got his start at TSTC in Waco, when it was still Texas State Technical Institute, in 1975 earning his associate degree in civil engineering technology.
“It feels great being back where my professional career began,” said Johnson. “TSTC is where it all started.”
Immediately after graduating, he worked with various Texas-based companies doing surveying and drafting, until he was promoted to an environmental technician and inspired to work for the military and to continue his education.
“TSTC prepared me to work in the industry. It gave me the skills I needed,” he said. “My success is because of TSTC, and my goal as a new instructor is to get my students fully prepared for a rewarding career.”
In 1987, he became an Environmental and Energy Coordinator for the U.S. Army in Germany and moved between the states and overseas over the course of his career from Fort Polk in Louisiana to Japan and Korea and back to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.
The Irving native was promoted through the years to Environmental Training Manager and Environmental Compliance Manager positions. He was also the primary author for the Army Environmental Compliance Handbook.
During this time Johnson was also furthering his education. In 1994, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, in 1996 his master’s degree and in 1998 his Ph.D. in Environmental Science, all from Southwest University.
“It was such self-gratification and self-motivation going back to school,” said Johnson. “And it was my first degree, my associate degree, which got me to where I am today.”
In addition to federal jobs, which Johnson retired from in 2013, he has also worked for the U.S. Geological Survey, as an adjunct instructor at Louisiana State University and for the Texas Department of Public Safety keeping within the environmental and hazardous material line of work. .
The now 65-year-old is back at work saying he needed something more to do than just playing golf.
“I had applied for a safety position at TSTC in Waco, but instead I was offered this position in Fort Bend,” said Johnson. “I was excited to accept it and I am ready to share all of my knowledge.”
Students who enroll in TSTC’s Environmental Technology-Compliance Specialization will have the opportunity to learn under Johnson’s instruction about how to apply science and technology to environmental issues and projects.
The program will not only offer classroom lectures, but also in-lab and off-site, hands-on experience working with soil, water and air sampling, performing chemical and safety audits at businesses and learning how to properly handle hazardous materials.
When the associate degree track is successfully completed, students can find jobs as environmental coordinators and consultants, environmental engineers, environmental scientists and specialists, environmental technicians and health and safety engineers.
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas is one of the largest employers of environmental technicians in the nation.
Environmental Technology-Compliance Specialization is already accepting students and will officially begin August 2017. The program will be housed at the Brazos Center, TSTC’s newest building in Fort Bend County.
For more information or to register for the Fall Semester visit tstc.edu.