Growing up in Chesterfield County, Virginia, Austin Beaudet could walk to Salem Woods Lake, and his fascination with the freshwater fish there piqued an early interest in preserving the environment.
He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Freshwater Fish Conservation from Virginia Tech in 2020.
“I thought freshwater fish were thought about a lot less than they should be,” says Austin, who spent a summer assisting in Maymont’s environmental education programs before starting at ONE Environmental Group in December 2021.
“Everyone here has a similar mindset to me as far as caring about the environment,” Austin says. “I love learning new things and definitely am getting a full plate of learning every day.”
ONE is expanding its work in fish conservation and Austin will play a major role in that moving forward. Currently, he is an inspector for as many as 20 sites, ensuring each is compliant with EPA guidelines.
Austin was born a triplet, and his brother, sister and their older brother all graduated from Virginia Tech. All four siblings love Ultimate Frisbee, a sport Austin calls “a combination of being an athlete and being a nerd.” Austin competed on the Ultimate Frisbee team all four of his years at L.C. Bird High School, coached the women’s team at Virginia Tech, and today is at work building a startup youth league in Richmond.
“That’s a big passion of mine,” he says. “I love the fact that when I was learning and getting coached, those coaches have such an important place in my memory and will for the rest of my life. I want to go back and give the same passion and effort to other people so I can help them be the best that they can be.”