Environmental Policy, Class of 2017

I have always had a passion for spending time in the outdoors, but it wasn’t until I went to Bolivia for 6 weeks the summer going into my junior year in high school, when I had the opportunity to go backpacking through the Andes mountains, that I really began to consider Environmental Studies as something that I would want to pursue in college. Then, when I was a senior in high school, I interned for an environmental organization called Riverkeeper, which acts a watchdog for the Hudson River by keeping it safe from polluters that are violating environmental laws. During this experience I began to learn about hydraulic fracturing, an energy source that was being considered by the NY State government that year, and as a result became very interested in water rights and more broadly, environmental justice.

I enrolled in the Green Cluster my freshman year knowing that I was interested in becoming an Environmental Policy major. The Green Cluster proved to be one of my favorite things about freshman year, as I loved being introduced to the Environmental Studies Department in such an intimate setting with 16 other freshmen. We focused on science in Biodiversity, learned about writers such as Thoreau and Muir in Environmental Writing, and in Environmental Activism we learned about activists who have dedicated their lives to protecting their communities and the world from environmental injustices. It was empowering to work with my class even after the semester ended to lobby the Maine legislature to stop the regulations on mining from being altered to allow for open-pit mining.

This year I am the Environmental Studies Department student photographer and a member of the Student Advisory Committee. The classes that I am taking in the department are Environmental Policy and Introduction to Ecology. Recently, I interned in D.C. this past summer for the National Religious Partnership for the Environment and I also attended the People’s Climate March in NYC along with 60 other Colby students in September. This coming January I look forward to participating in Russ Cole’s Belize JanPlan course, learning about the tropical flora and fauna of Belize and of the environmental challenges that pose a risk to the people living there. Together, these experiences have made me even more excited about my choice to be an Environmental Policy major in a department led by such an amazing and supportive group of faculty.

Outside of the Environmental Policy Major I am a COOT Leader, the Vice-President of Hillel, a Waterville Jewish Leadership Fellow, and a member of the Oak Student Associate Committee.