Friday, July 3, 2015

Week 3: Passion and Perspective

I'm very fortunate in that this summer's research is something that excites me, something that I'm passionate about, and something that's important. Passionate about phosphorus? Really? Passionate about surface runoff, base flow, and algal blooms? Is that a thing?
Really though, I am passionate about the environment and the people that interact with it everyday. The research I am doing in a well-equipped lab at a university in a small town in Wisconsin is such a small facet of the environment, that could have such huge impacts. That's what excites me.
Beyond having a love for the outdoors (though only a healthy respect for some of the creepy crawlies within it), I also love reading, movies, time with friends and family, and a nice mug of tea. Before coming to Stout, or going to Gustavus Adolphus, or even graduating high school, one of the first jobs I had, which I still love, was being a nanny. I had the privilege of being a nanny to a few families in my neighborhood and babysitting for family friends. I love working with kids. Whether my first job as a nanny, or Vacation Bible School counselor, to my position last summer as a Ministry Outreach Coordinator among Minneapolis youth, I have loved working with kids AND the environment. For the neighbor kids, we went to the park on nature hikes, with VBS students we planted seeds for students to take home and start their own gardens, for my Minneapolis students we planted and maintained urban farms and community gardens.
I am proudly an environmental studies major, within this major I am a social science concentration. I am passionate about the connections between humans and their natural environment. Mostly I am passionate in preserving, protecting, and enhancing the environment and this world so the kids that inspire me get to have the same appreciation and experience as they grow up. Working in a lab in Jarvis Hall of Science in a little town in Wisconsin surrounded by polluted water may seem small and specific, and the factors we are researching may seem strange or even hopeless to some. But, I am excited. I am hopeful. I am blessed to be working with this great group of young people who are just as passionate about this important work and its impacts on the environment.
Students watering a community garden in Minneapolis, MN

Neighbor kids enjoying the lush grass and privacy of the pine trees playing some badminton 
VBS students from Brooklyn, NY enjoying a rainy day in the park

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