|Backpacking in Point Reyes National Park|
I’ve always really enjoyed being outdoors. It just doesn’t feel right to me to spend a whole day inside. I grew up swimming, playing soccer, and camping during the summers with my family. As I got older I started camping and backpacking with my friends.
I took environmental science my senior year and really enjoyed it. I loved being able to go on a hike and feel like I better understood the world around me. However, I didn’t see myself seriously pursuing environmentalism further as an academic or professional interest. I was pretty set on studying development, but I continued to hike, bike, camp, and casually take environmental science courses.
It wasn’t until my sophomore year when I took a political ecology class that I started to see the connections between environmentalism and the things I was studying. Before I had failed to see the connections between environmental issues and social issues, but this class helped me understand how interconnected the two are. I completely rewrote my major concentration to focus on sustainable development and enrolled in biology and the core environmental science class for the next semester. The next thing I knew I was in upper-division ecology classes and working in a conservation biology lab.
This is probably as far I will go with science; I don’t think I’ll take any science courses in graduate school or ever be a scientist, but I’ve learned more about environmental science than I ever anticipated. Moving forward I still plan to focus my studies and career on environmentalism, but probably from a policy or economic perspective. I think the science courses I’ve taken will help me do this well. Hopefully, I’ll even be to apply some of the things I’ve learned on this project.