Alumnus Combines His Passion for Science with Law

Chis Byrd_edited pictureDavid Frost once said, “Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in it, and it will come naturally.” Alumnus, Christopher T. Byrd, ’04, is a great example of someone who worked hard and has a successful career because he found a job that involves his passion and skills. Byrd graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and legal studies. Through his majors at UCF, he discovered environmental law which allowed him to combine his passion for science but also focused on his strong verbal and written skills.

During his time at UCF, Byrd was involved in many student organizations and activities such as the Sigma Nu Fraternity International Mu Psi chapter, the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity International UCF chapter, and the United Nations Associations of the University of Central Florida.

His involvement with the United Nations Associations of UCF comes to mind when asked what his best UCF memory is.

“It was when UNA UCF launched the Model UN Knightmun Conference, where high school students could come and practice their Model UN skills in a conference setting. It was great working with SGA, writing the budget proposal, working with UCF faculty and staff, and seeing how excited the students were and how much they learned. I enjoyed building the conference and seeing my hard work turn into success.”

Byrd now works for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Tallahassee, Fla. He began his time with the DEP in 2008 as the assistant general counsel for water enforcement and is currently the senior assistant general counsel for public lands.  In his position, Byrd represents the Department and the Board of Trustees in civil and administrative litigation cases involving rule challenges, state lands, environmental resources, water facilities, coastal construction, coral reefs, and mangroves. For example, Byrd works with the Coral Reef Conservation Program. He handles cases that involve different kinds of damages that occur to coral reefs, and works to bring about the recovery and restoration of the resource back to its prior health.

The UCF Creed is integrity, scholarship, community, creativity and excellence. When asked how the creed inspired his work Byrd said, “The UCF Creed inspired my commitment to serving the public interest and the people of the State of Florida by confirming and encouraging me to strive for excellence while upholding the integrity of the law and staying engaged in my local community.”

If Byrd could give one piece of advice to current students he says, “Get involved, explore your interests and become a leader!”


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