Amplifying Voices

Thank you, Administrator Jackson
by Emily Myron -- December 16th, 2011

Right at the end of the semester, when the stress of work and future-planning seemed unbearable, we were lucky enough to have EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson come to speak to us.

Last week, Administrator Lisa Jackson visited us as part of the Dean’s Environment and Society Lecture Series. For someone with an incredibly serious, stressful, and important job, Jackson is very down to earth – she certainly comes off as a real person, not a Washington robot.  She is passionate, and excited, and hopeful – she sees a future in which the environment is bipartisan issue, where people band together to protect our air and water resources, as Americans did when the EPA was created (by Nixon!). We do not have to choose between the economy and the environment; both can improve simultaneously, and with some smart regulations. Despite over 170 votes against environmental protection by the Republicans of the House, Jackson remains optimistic and determined to uphold and improve environmental standards for this country.

Administrator Jackson briefly spoke with a few of us after her talk. (Photo credit to Duke Photography)

Administrator Jackson joined us right at the beginning of our exam period, when nerves and stress are at their highest.  I know, for me, I found her talk incredibly inspirational – if she can remain hopeful despite how politicized environmental issues have become, we all can.  In this field, we often hear about all the things that are going wrong – how many people are dying, how many acres of forested land we lose a day, how much CO2 is in the atmosphere. I think it is equally important to hear these stories of success and hope.  They keep me going.  They remind me that the environmental field has such an amazing future ahead of it; especially with people like Jackson taking the lead and people like my amazing classmates following.

Thank you for speaking with us, Administrator Jackson – you really left a mark on the students of the Nicholas School, and we are grateful.

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