Joseph Jakuta

Regional Network: 
Chesapeake Regional Network
Class Year: 
Senior Air Quality Planner
District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment
Washington, DC

Joseph was born in Bel Air, Maryland, where he lived until college.  During his younger years he enjoyed school, math in particular, played tuba, and was a Boy Scout, eventually earning the rank of Eagle Scout.

In college Joseph attended the University of Maryland, College Park where he majored in Computer Science with a minor in English.  He also was ad DJ, the music director, and director of live music at the college radio station, WMUC, and played tuba with the University of Maryland College Band.

Following college he began a career in website development.  He worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the online fundraising department during the 2006 election cycle, a software startup Smart Logic solutions where his primary project involved electronic health records, and started his own part time freelance web consulting business, H LiNa K Ventures.  He also began volunteering with environmental organizations including Sierra Club of Texas, One Less Car, and 1,000 Friends of Maryland.  

In 2008 he went to graduate school to undertake a career change at the Nicholas School of the Environment, where he eventually received a Master's in Environmental Management with a focus on Environmental Economics and Policy.  Issues involving air pollution, transportation, and climate change were his primary focus.  His master's project focused on reducing use of single occupancy vehicles. He also traveled both through class trips and on breaks to various environmentally interesting locations.

Following graduate school he moved back to the Washington, DC area and took a job with the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) where he worked with the states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to reduce ozone pollution and impacts on visibility in National Parks in the region.  This work focused on writing reports, collaborating with stakeholders, and coordinating between the states.  He also began volunteering in his community of Mount Rainier as a city appointed position on the Environmental Protection Board, eventually becoming chair of the group, which was later renamed the Mount Rainier Green Team.  He also volunteered with other organizations including the Anacositia Watershed Society and Sierra Club of Maryland.

In 2018 he left the OTC to join the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment.  There he works on issues involving air quality and mobile sources and focuses on writing regulations, calculating emissions inventories, among other projects.