A Duke Undergrad’s Thoughts on the Environment and Food

Welcome to my blog, Blue Devil’s Food for Thought! I’ll be writing about the undergraduate experience, student life, pressing environmental issues and food systems, ranging from agriculture to dining at restaurants.

For some background, I am a junior in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. I major in Environmental Sciences and Policy with minors in education and Earth & Ocean Sciences. I love learning about the environment, particularly environmental education (EE) and issues surrounding food/agriculture. Alongside my classes, I work in Charlotte Clark’s environmental education lab as a summary writer of EE journal articles. Outside the classroom, I work with Duke University Science Olympiad, the First-year Advisory Counselor Board, Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee and the Club Ski Team!

Most of my academic interests come from competing with Science Olympiad during middle and high school. Science Olympiad taught me to love the environment and teaching. I took these two loves to an internship after my first year at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, my home city. I wrote the curriculum for their summer camp program, revolving around natural history and environmental subjects. From there, I interned in the summer after my sophomore year at the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), focusing on advocacy and policy. While there, I worked on many projects surrounding state and national policy. This internship was fully-funded as an independent DukeEngage. Next summer, I’ll be working with the Boston Consulting Group in New York.

This semester, I am in a DukeImmerse program, for which I take all four classes (which include travel!) with a small group of students all surrounding one subject: the future of food. I have had the opportunity to travel to the Central Valley in California to learn about labor, soil, plant physiology, restaurants, access, water rights and more. We also visited many farms in eastern North Carolina, as well as a few closer to Durham. Through DukeImmerse, I have learned so much and furthered my curiosities about food. It has been such a unique experience to focus my entire semester around this one, crucial subject and learn from such amazing professors, guests and peers. I find that even when I am not working on classwork, I can’t stop thinking about food! Food issues are human issues, as they manifest in so many ways, whether it is how we appear to others, our health, immigration rights or social justice.

I can’t wait to share with you my perspectives on everything surrounding the student experience, from internships and choosing classes to Duke basketball and food on campus.

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