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Oregon State Everywhere: ‘Education is an investment in yourself, and you are worth it’

By completing two graduate programs online with Oregon State, Matt Bowling took his knowledge and expertise to another level — then he started his own business to help make a positive impact on the environment.

By Matt Bowling
Oregon State Ecampus 2021 graduate
M.S. in Environmental Sciences

I am the owner — the “solopreneur” — of Matt Bowling Planning. I launched my business in December 2021. It is a veteran-owned small business specializing in environmental review, urban planning, historic preservation and water management. I am also in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.

I would have not been able to earn my M.S. in Environmental Sciences and the Graduate Certificate in Water Conflict Management and Transformation without the online format offered by Oregon State University. I am so thankful for the opportunity afforded by Oregon State Ecampus.

Prior to enrolling, I did a lot of research into where I wanted to return to school. In the end, Oregon State was at the top of my list.

Learning online with Oregon State has been an incredibly worthy investment. The knowledge that I obtained and the skills that I learned gave me the confidence to launch my own business. In addition, it has directly and positively influenced my ability to do my job in the U.S. Coast Guard, where our mission set includes marine environmental protection, living marine resources stewardship and ice operations.

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Here’s my advice to anyone who is considering going back to school: Go for it! There is no better time than now. In five, 10, 15 or 20 years, the only regret you will have will be the opportunities you did not take. Education is an investment in yourself, and you are worth it.

OSU Ecampus was user-friendly, with great support. I have several degrees and credentials, and I have learned in a lot of different types of environments (in person, online asynchronous, online synchronous, self-paced, etc.). OSU Ecampus was a great experience and one of the best learning environments I have ever been a part of.

My professors in the environmental sciences master’s program and the water conflict management and transformation graduate certificate were outstanding. The faculty and staff were experts in their respective fields, and I learned so much from them. I learned a lot from my classmates too. The class discussions were really helpful and helped me to broaden my perspective.

The support shown to military members and veterans was extraordinary. The veteran certifying officials in Oregon State’s Military and Veteran Resources Center and in the Office of the Registrar provide services to veterans going to school for the first time or returning to school for the second, third, or fourth time 🙂

If you are in the military or in military transition to school, you definitely should take a look at Oregon State University.


You can be like Matt and take the next step in your career by earning a graduate degree or certificate in conservation and natural sciences online with Oregon State.

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