Department of Economics

Iris (Ponsano) Maska

  • Graduated: 2004
  • Field: Analyst/Consultant, Government

Iris (Ponsano) Maska(opens in new window), who graduated with honors in 2004, completed her BA in economics with a minor in math.  She is an economist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Sacramento(opens in new window), California. While at Chico State she served as president of the Economics Club. She left Chico State for Sacramento State to enter their graduate economics program. After completing her course work for an MA in economics(opens in new window) she worked as an intern for Tetra Tech(opens in new window), a consulting firm that provides engineering and technical services. From there she moved to the US Army Corps of Engineers(opens in new window) where she served as regional economist. She also found time to serve 2 years as a volunteer editor for the Progressive Congress(opens in new window). She left the Corps in 2012 as senior economist to join the US Fish and Wildlife Service(opens in new window) in Arlington, Virginia, where she worked as an economist at their headquarters until 2016 when she moved to Sacramento where she currently works for USFWS. Iris works with National Environmental Policy Analysis (NEPA)(opens in new window) documents to evaluate their economic impacts. She is also looking for opportunities to provide skills-based volunteering.

"Being a federal government economist is not only a steady job but a very rewarding and challenging career. Coupling it with a math minor had been immense help in the last decade. My job title has always been as an economist. I'd say do what you are good at. I was always bad at the business side but loved the math, graphs, and proofs. I leveraged those skills into doing risk modeling for systems. Economists are needed in interdisciplinary natural resource teams" Iris stated in a recent email.  (Last Updated 1/27/18)