Three Colby graduates—Blair Braverman ’11, Dan Opalacz ’10, and Sophie Sarkar ’11—were selected from more than 600 nominations for the Outdoor Industry Association’s inaugural Outdoor 30 Under 30 list. Selected from a panel of outdoor industry standouts, the list highlights future game changers who are challenging the status quo and driving the industry forward, according the organization’s press release.
Blair Braverman, dogsledder, journalist, and essayist, has been an Iowa Arts Fellow and a MacDowell Fellow. She was an environmental policy major and creative writing minor at Colby. Her work has appeared in This American Life, Buzzfeed, Orion, and Atavist. Braverman’s first book, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North (ECOO/HarperCollins), will be released in July.
Dan Opalacz is cofounder of Bedrock Sandals, described as minimalist footwear for outdoor enthusiasts. A geoscience and a science, technology, and society double major, Opalacz traveled for two years in a modified VW Vanagon while developing his company. Bedrock donates 1 percent of its yearly sales to help conserve and restore the environment through 1% for the Planet.
Outdoor recreation planner Sophie Sarkar, and environmental policy and economics double major, works for the National Park Service in Philadelphia. Redefining what is means to be “outdoorsy,” Sarkar works with communities around racial/environmental justice and outdoor access. Her projects have included transforming a blighted West Philadelphia corridor into a greenway, creating a documentary about urban outdoor education, and organizing urban canoeing programs.