Peace Corps Master’s Student Tackles Water, Waste, Volcanoes, Earthquakes in Panama

To the people of Peña Blanca, Panama, Chet Hopp must seem like a godsend. He’s helping them get cleaner water, improve sanitation and understand their local volcanic hazards.

“I’m an environmental health extensionist, which means that my main responsibilities to my community of Peña Blanca deal with sanitation,” says Hopp, a Peace Corps Master’s International student in geology at Michigan Technological University. “Specifically, we work to improve access to potable water through development and construction of gravity-fed aqueducts, as well as improving sanitation practices through education and access to various types of latrines.”