I joined the Environmental Fellows Program in 2013 seeking to blend my interests in the environment with my academic experience at DePauw. I sought to gain a holistic understanding of environmental issues and the challenges we face in addressing them. I also sought to cultivate the critical thinking skills necessary to develop effective solutions towards these challenges.
As part of my practica, I completed a winter term externship at the Nature Conservation Research Center (NCRC) in Accra, Ghana during my sophomore year. NCRC is a small non-governmental organization which analyzes and implements sustainable development initiatives in West Africa. During my time there I assisted with reports that promoted sustainable changes in community-based agricultural practices. I also helped develop a report that was presented to policymakers and key stakeholders in the agricultural sector. It was a very rewarding experience that enabled me to gain insight into sustainable and unsustainable practices of various agricultural industries.
During the first semester of my junior year, I engaged in a capstone project with my peers to further DePauw’s ‘Zero Waste’ initiative. We sent a proposal to the University administration to install a composting system within a new dining facility to minimize food waste, and created awareness through a public food waste audit.
In the second semester of my junior year I spent a semester abroad at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. I studied Geology and Environmental Management. I engaged in a semester long curricular project where I conducted secondary research and designed an environmental monitoring methodology for an urban area in southeast Queensland. I gained many new experiences in this peculiar region of the world; I learned a lot about biodiversity, conservation, and the impacts of climate change on coastal and marine environments.
In my senior year, I completed an internship with Mundell & Associates Inc. during winter term. Mundell & Associates is an environmental consulting firm located in Indianapolis which specializes in environmental management, investigations and remediation, litigation support, and water resources evaluation.I worked under environmental scientists and assisted in remediation projects and water contamination prevention for the City of Indianapolis. Through this internship I better understood the environmental consulting sector and the various ways many environmental hazards like toxic spills are remediated.
These diverse experiences have provided me with the breadth of experience to navigate the various dimensions of many environmental issues. I have also developed a greater capacity to think critically about complex problems, and better utilize the scientific knowledge I have gained.