As a part of the Environmental Studies Program at Lewis and Clark College, I have been developing a focus of independent research through my studies in order to apply knowledge and skills gained thus far to current, real world situations. Each student, able to pick a topic of interest that also ascertains certain guidelines regarding social-environmental participation, is able to spend their undergraduate studies working on the research, planning, and implementation of this through guidance in various core courses. Through the last few years of studies, I have continued my interests in environmental studies, specifically trying to carve it in a way that interweaves political/policy making aspects with such…. There is a strong imbalance in wealth that has created humanitarian crises worldwide, and exploitation of developing countries by developed countries is a long-standing problem. After taking an international relations and an environmental analysis course in the same year, I began to find overlaps in which I wanted to understand how countries are and are not integrating diplomacy via environmental influence, a specific externality of economic globalization that developing countries most often suffer the most from, and yet a topic that’s only recently received global attention/acknowledgement. Specific courses, such as Environmental Economics, Environmental Philosophy, the Political Economy of Food, and the Environmental Studies core courses I’ve taken thus far, all have helped inform me of the practicalities and considerations that need be understood in weighing the magnitude and validity of externalities caused by economic globalization. Thus, in the last two years I have been able to shape, reshape, and reshape again, an idea for pursuing further research with which I felt passionate about, while also working towards advancements of positive change.”-Communicating and Reiterating Through Life’s Way
Learning More and Getting Smaller
The interesting thing about growth, and perhaps the most frustrating thing, is how much it lacks a linear trajectory. Each time you take two steps forward, you take one step back. The key is that, however, is the steps forward. As I have been finishing up and reflecting on my capstone, it has been amazing to see those patterns. As I learn more, I gain more questions; it’s as though the learning never ends (though sometimes I hope it doesn’t). Progress is about gained knowledge, gained awareness, and gained engagement. Through every step, I have learned more, even when it’s felt like I’ve own dug myself deeper. Now, what does that mean for the future? I don’t plan on carrying out this research any further (at least not right now). I plan on going to law school; certainly this knowledge I’ve gained will help during my years there as I now know more regarding climate issues and tactics for tackling them. But what else?
All of this research takes me to show my capabilities carrying out such research. Following through on such a dense amount of understanding is not something I would necessarily do it my own time. Thus, without the encouragement of school or work, in this case school, I would never know my capabilities. I have found my research strengths (and weaknesses. Boy do I love going down wormholes), and found how much I love analyzing and interpreting data; something I’m also good at! I don’t necessarily enjoy interviews, but knowing how to handle them is crucial as I follow my career path I’m sure. Thus, this capstone has taught me a lot about myself, and with that knowledge I hope to grow, and put myself towards more opportunities.