Student Spotlight- Bilegt Baatar

Environmental Policy & Management student, Bilegt Baatar

Student Spotlight

Bilegt Baatar

Bilegt was born in Japan but grew up in San Francisco, CA. He earned his BS in Environmental Science and Management at UC Davis and decided to stay at UC Davis to finish his Masters. 

How’s your experience been in the accelerated 12-month track been?

It’s been the busiest year of my life, but in the best way possible. Everything that I have been devoting my time and energy to has been fulfilling. Teaching undergrads as a TA, interning for a large planning agency, and taking interesting courses have all been very rewarding experiences. 

After you’ve finished your degree in September, do you have any jobs lined up?

A week after my last day of classes, I’ll be starting a full-time position as an Assistant Planner for Sacramento County’s Office of Planning and Environmental Review.

What is a piece of advice that you would give an incoming EPM student?

You’ll meet some of the brightest and most dedicated people during your time in the program. Get to know them, listen to what they have to say, and learn from them. At the same time, understand that presenting yourself well, staying positive, and working hard gets noticed by others. Trying to be the best version of yourself should be a daily practice.

Why did you decide to stay at Davis to complete graduate school?

I had such a positive experience with the undergraduate environmental science program that I didn’t doubt Davis would offer a high-quality graduate education as well. A lot of the same factors that made the undergraduate program so successful are also present for the graduate program: great educators, an emphasis on practical courses, proximity to the State capital, and bright students.  

What is the most interesting place that you’ve ever traveled to?

As a Mongolian, I am very fortunate to have visited my home country as a child. Spending a summer out in the countryside riding horses with my dad, exploring unnamed mountains with my cousins, and living out of a yurt in the wide-open steppes fostered a deep connection with nature. I intend to return to Mongolia in the future so that I may experience its beauty as an adult.  

What are some things you like to do in your free time?

To me cycling is more than just a form of transportation. It’s an ultimate test of physical fitness and mental constitution, while also allowing you to seek out adventure. A lot of people think it’s you versus a hill’s ascent or it’s you versus gusting headwinds. When in reality the physical environment is merely the backdrop and the bicycle is the means by which you challenge yourself.