This week’s post addresses the question, “How has my capstone benefitted from my general preparation as an ENVS major?” This question has been on my mind a lot over the last several weeks, as my fellow seniors and I begin to transition into “the real world” and I find myself looking back at the work I have done with a new introspective and practical lens.
In the Beginning…
Entering into the Lewis and Clark ENVS program as a freshman four years ago, I was certainly surprised by the stark contrast between Environmental Science and Studies. I had spent the last two years of high school in an Environmental Science program known as SEA-DISC, where all of my classes were taught through an environmental science and justice lens. Our academy spend a third of our time outside, whether it be working in the creek that ran through our school, or putting on Earth Day celebrations on campus. I was so accustomed to hands-on projects, hard science classes, and a more classical perspective on modern environmental matters. I will be the first to say that initially, ENVS was really challenging for me to become accustomed to. I had to learn how to think in a different way. I had to realize the different assumptions and biases that went on inside. my head without me knowing. And I had to come to terms with the idea that some of the things I had learned and always taken as truth, may have more to it then I had been taught.
Through the ups and downs and the many realizations and challenges, I can confidently say that ENVS has helped me tremendously with who the student, thinker, and scholar I have become today.
The data analysis skills I have acquired over the years from many of the science classes I took have been very helpful both for my capstone as well as job interviews. Courses in hydrology, oceanography, geology, and environmental analysis have all contributed to a vast array of skills in Excel, GIS, and other types of data analysis.
The breadth courses and humanities courses included in the ENVS major have also been extremely formative for me. In some ways, I had to stretch myself in departments I never would have ventured into (Economics) and gained valuable insight in other departments I wouldn’t have been all too excited about (History) but ended up really loving! Environmental Economics taught me the important and very relevant role of supply and demand and History of the American Landscape showed me the different ways our surroundings have been shaped by humans.
These courses, many others, my professors, hours of fieldwork, years of grappling with new ENVS concepts, and my fellow peers have shown me what it means to be an ENVS student. To be interdisciplinary. To be a spirited collaborator. To be a critical thinker.