An Intellectual Journey

Photo of me enjoying the flowers

growing on the farm of a family friend

I was blessed to have been raised in rural New Hampshire, one of the northern towns of the lakes region to be exact. Surrounded by beautiful green mountains, lush healthy forests, and water so clean and clear that you could believe in mermaids. I played outside every chance I got: I personified my favorite apple tree that was big and old enough that I could easily climb her (Magi, after the character in the movie Ferngully), collected rocks from everywhere I went until my mom made me create a pile outside our front door because they couldn’t all come in the house, and made dolls out of plants and sticks that I found in the front yard. So it is no surprise that, after a short love affair with all things “space” in middle school, I excelled in my biology classes in high school and eventually decided to study environmental science in college.

When I started at NHTI in the Natural Sciences department, I quickly confirmed that I was interested in the topics, and the next step ended up being to get more involved on campus. I found the Environmental Action Club (EAC), an organization that pushed “eco friendly” changes on campus, and became the president of the club after just being involved for one semester- remember that community colleges tend to have a quick turnover rate. I was president for five semesters in total, voted in almost unanimously for a second year. During that time I was able to educate myself and grow my interests the social aspects of environmentalism. Movements, pressing issues, and the groups involved. This really rounded out my environmental education, because now I wasn’t only getting the hard scientific basics and background, I was getting the more current issues and building my understanding and passion. After three years at NHTI, I decided to move on to Plymouth State and get my bachelors degree in Environmental Biology. But after some time taking the required courses, I realized that it wasn’t the direction that I really wanted to move in. A small panic started at the back of my mind: I don’t want to work in a lab, but do I really want to work in the field? What do I actually want to do with the things I have been learning? Do I change to Environmental Science and Policy? The deciding factor was more personal in nature: I decided that I was tired of being in school and wanted to graduate in the next year. That wasn’t going to be possible if I changed to Environmental Science and Policy, so now what? Interdisciplinary studies.

I was able to shape my degree around all of the classes I took for my degree in Environmental Science, the courses I had started to take at Plymouth, and the ones I was still interested in for later. Now I have been able to really pick my courses based on interest (Plants and Society, Introduction to Permaculture, ceramics, etc) and ones that were still relevant to my studies (Sustainability in Practice, Land Conservation Techniques, Environmental Planning). Right now I am just finishing things up for the semester, and working on prospects for the future. I do plan on learning for life, as corny as it sounds. There are so many opportunities to keep on growing!