Melissa Mourkas ’94
Planner II, Cultural Resources, California Energy Commission
Planner II-Cultural Resources, California Energy Commission.
When I tell people that the focus of my work is the siting of power plants, I’m sure their first thought is an environmental review of air quality, flora, and fauna, but my work in the Environmental Protection Office of the California Energy Commission is much more. As a “built environment” specialist, I apply my skills as an architectural and landscape historian to analyze the potential for impacts on cultural resources from these proposed power plant applications.
What were you doing before you applied to the Conway School?
Sales and marketing.
What brought you to Conway?
Mid-life crisis. I wanted to move into a design profession that balanced my background in architectural history and newfound interest in the natural landscape.
Imagine we just met, and recognized we had common interests. How would you describe Conway to me?
Intense immersion. Excellent education. Good balance of design theory and real world conditions and constraints. When I consider my year at Conway, with its emphasis on written and spoken communication skills, I realize these core competencies inform my work on a daily basis. During my studies at Conway I also honed my ability to read the landscape for clues that reveal the evolution into its present form. You never know where a Conway education might take you.
What book changed your life?
The Passive Solar Energy Book by Edward Mazria, 1979.