Colby Environmental Studies: Student Profiles
Emmie Theberge ’08
Orr’s Island, Maine
Emmie Theberge, an ES Policy and Government double major, spent her semester abroad on the Galápagos Islands. The first month was spent in mainland Ecuador where, in the Andes, the Amazon rainforest, and on the coast, she studied conservation biology and wildlife management. She then traveled to the Galápagos Islands, where she remained for three months studying environmental security, human ecology and maritime societies, and environmental economics. After returning home from her semester abroad, Emmie headed back to Mayflower Hill to spend the first half of the summer as a research assistant for ES/Government professor Liliana Andonova researching public-private partnership activity among international organizations. She was then off again, this time traveling to Australia on a Mellon Grant to work for the Environmental Economics Unit of the Victorian State Government Department of Sustainability and Environment. In the spring of 2008 Emmie interned with the Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security researching wind power development in Maine. Emmie continues to pursue her passion for environmental issues on campus as a student representative for the Environmental Advisory Group (EAG), the co-president of the ES Club, and as a member of the student initiative producer- consumer cooperative proposed for downtown Waterville. She is writing a government honors thesis on transboundary conservation areas and their role in conflict mediation, resolving border conflicts in particular. After leaving Colby, she plans on working for a year or two before studying environmental law.
Katie Unsworth ’10
Katie Unsworth is an ES Policy and International Studies double major. She became interested in environmental studies one summer in high school while working on a leatherback sea turtle conservation project on Matura Beach, Trinidad. At Colby, she serves as the Go-Ho Dorm President and works for the ES Program. Apart from planning environmental events and activities on campus, her main project has been to decrease food waste through the ‘Trayless Thursday’ campaign. In 2007 Katie was sent as the Colby delegate to the Lotus Live Sustainability Conference at Stanford University where she met with students from across the country to discuss campus environmental issues and create an online database of sustainability facts and a set of best practices to help other academic institutions ‘go green.’ During her junior year Katie plans on spending a semester at sea studying international environmental law. Katie is particularly interested in environmental justice issues and plans to attend law school after graduating from Colby.
Becky Lipson ’09
Becky Lipson is an ES Science major with a conservation biology concentration. Becky has always loved the outdoors, but before coming to Colby she never intended to study environmental science. Once she arrived at Colby, however, Becky was impressed by the ES Program’s interdisciplinary nature. As an ES major she been able to take courses in the fields of chemistry, anthropology, economics, mathematics, geology, and biology. Additionally one of her favorite aspects of being an ES major is being able explore Maine’s outdoors for classes such as Ecology and Ornithology. Becky has clearly used what she learns in class to better her internship and summer experiences, which have included spending her sophomore JanPlan on a sheep ranch in Montana, working at a local farm over the summer, and interning for the Sierra Club. Becky will be spending her junior spring semester abroad in Namibia working on a black rhino conservation project. Becky says that while the course requirements for the ES major can be challenging, the major does an excellent job of preparing students for graduate school and careers in the environmental field.
Kerry Whittaker ’08
Kerry Whittaker is a senior ES Science and English double major. She chose to participate in the Environmental Studies Program because of its interdisciplinary outlook, linking human issues with the natural world. Her academic background at Colby focuses mainly on conservation biology and environmental literature. As a supplement to her on-campus studies, Kerry went abroad to Baja, Mexico in 2006 through the School for Field Studies. During her abroad experience, Kerry studied coastal ecology, green sea turtle conservation, and the cultural and biological complexities of ecotourism. The Environmental Studies Program at Colby has spurred some unique internship and research opportunities for Kerry. She spent the summer of 2006 working for the Lloyd Center for Environmental Research and Education on the Southeastern coast of Massachusetts. In 2007, she received funding from Science Foundation Ireland to participate in paleobotany and atmospheric science research at University College Dublin. As a continuation of her research in Ireland, Kerry’s honors thesis at Colby deals with the effect of higher atmospheric CO2 on Maine’s conifers. Kerry’s experience with the Environmental Studies Program has exposed her to the diverse perspectives of global climate change and ecosystem dynamics while providing her with an intimate connection to the stunning natural resources of Maine. She seeks to integrate her academic experiences into her daily lifestyle with a passion for environmental activism by example. As the Head Resident of the Green Dorm, she hopes to expand her capacity for sustainable living while inspiring the same in those around her.
Kiira Heymann ‘08
Hey, I’m Kiira and I’m a sophomore here at Colby and am an Environmental Studies: Science major. I’m from Stamford, CT and just love life here in Maine at Colby. One of the best things about the ES major is that you get to take courses from so many different departments. My favorite class so far has been a Science, Technology, and Society Course called Environmental Ethics – we’ve debated and discussed everything we’re learning about in our other ES courses and its great! Getting involved on campus is also so easy – whether it be clubs like the Environmental Coalition or the Outing Club – so in addition to the great Maine outdoors and skiing galore, there is plenty to do on and off campus. This fall I’m starting an Organic Garden on campus as an effort to raise awareness about sustainable farming practices and for the fun of getting our hands dirty!
Eric Hansen ‘08
Hi! My name is Eric Hansen and I am a Environmental Studies: Policy major at Colby. I have always loved learning about the environment and I picked Colby in part because it has a strong Environmental Studies Program. So far, Colby has lived up to all my expectations. I have had great classes and have had many opportunities to be involved outside of class as well. I am a member of the Environmental Coalition, the student-run environmental group, as well as the ES Club and the ES Student Advisory Committee. I also participated in an environmental summit on campus last spring. Both the faculty and other ES students have really gone out of their way to make sure that I'm involved.
I am involved outside the ES program as well. I am an Art minor and spend a significant portion of time in the painting studio. I am a member of Habitat for Humanity at Colby and spent Spring Break building houses in Virginia with them last year. I am also a part of the Colby Figure Skating Club, and a member of the Maineliners, our Synchronized Skating Team.
Elisa Chiniara ‘07
Ryan Weaver ‘07
Hi! I am a junior Environmental Studies Policy Major and Education minor from Somerset, PA. I actively participate in several organizations here at Colby, including the Environmental Studies Club, the Student Programming Board, and the Colby Cares About Kids mentoring program. I also serve as a host for prospective student through Admissions. My experiences at Colby have truly been amazing. The classes encourage a vast understanding of some of the most challenging environmental areas of our time. Outside the classroom there are many opportunities for involvement. Environmental Studies majors have strong relationships with the supportive and dedicated faculty. Students interact with their professors frequently outside of class with the vast array of program offerings such as guest speakers coming to Colby to speak about topics ranging from green buildings to tiger conservation. Environmental activism and community involvement are very important to me. Last spring I helped plan the Green Campus Summit, a conference designed to promote campus sustainability and discuss key transnational climate change issues amongst the participating schools from the state of Maine and the maritime Canadian provinces. Colby's Environmental Studies Program offers many different ways to pursue one's interests both in the classroom and almost anywhere in the world.
Hilary Langer ‘06
Hi! My name is Hilary Langer and I am an environmental policy and international studies double major. I decided to come to Colby because of the reputation of the environmental studies program and its emphasis on field work. However, after studying in India the year before arriving on campus, I realized that I also wanted to concentrate on international issues. Over the summers I’ve been able to work for an environmental organization in the Ecuadorian rainforest, for a domestic river protection group in Washington, D.C., and for researchers assessing the environmental impacts of development projects in rural southern Africa. During my junior year, I was thrilled to study conservation biology in South Africa’s national parks. I’m now working on an environmental studies thesis and taking a senior seminar course that researches the northern Maine woods. My class of seven has gone on overnight field trips and even got to take a flight over the area we’re studying. All of this has convinced me that there’s no place more beautiful than Maine! Colby has been an amazing place for me, and I feel very lucky to be studying here.
Sarah Kelly ‘06
Hi, my name is Sarah Kelly. I am a senior Environmental Policy major at Colby. I grew up by the ocean in Portsmouth, NH. One of my favorite parts about Colby is the Environmental Studies (ES) Program. The resources, opportunities, and sense of family are amazing. The Mellon Foundation, through the ES Program, has funded my two summer internships. The summer after my sophomore year I worked for the nonprofit Sustainable Harvest International in Punta Gorda, Belize, creating a farmer's manual for the surrounding villages. Last summer I was able to teach environmental education at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont. This past year I had the opportunity to travel abroad for both semesters. I participated in the Boston University program, "Rethinking Globalization: Nature, Culture and Justice." It was a comparative study abroad; we visited England, Tanzania, India, New Zealand and Mexico. It was an indescribable experience filled with knowledge in many forms. This year I am writing my honors thesis on dorm electricity sustainability at Colby. I am also a research assistant for the ES chair, Professor Russ Cole. I am a member of the ES Student Advisory Committee and co-president of the Environmental Coalition. In addition to my time spent with ES related events, I also am a member of other clubs and teams. I play on the Colby Ultimate Frisby team. I am an active member of the Colby Filipino Club and the Movement for Global Justice group.