As the ecosystem ecology course comes to a close, I am amazed at how much I have learned. I entered this course without the physics, GIS, and advanced bio/geo/chemistry requirements that were posted on the syllabus. It was intimidating to say the least. The first Dinamica assignment seemed like a foreign language and I was doubtful in my ability to pick up the new skill. I stuck with the class because the environmentalist in me was not satisfied with sitting around in circles and discussing rooftop gardens. I find it necessary to know and understand the cycles and endless functions of ecosystems, if I am going to effectively defend and protect them in the future.
My interest in community gardens has proven to be a prime example of Integrated Natural Resource studies. I was drawn to the INR major without realizing how great it really is for me. From qualitative research interviewing community garden participants all the way to GIS modeling for finding new areas for community gardens; I have explored many ways of promoting this one form of sustainability. It feels good to be an ecologist and an advocate, someone who can legitimize the claims they stand for.
As someone who is optimistic, hopeful, almost idealistic, it becomes crucial to ground myself in reality. I am graduating in a couple weeks and I am constantly wondering how will I make an impact on the world? How can I translate all I learned in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources into applicable work? With an integrated major, a love for ecology, and a passion for the people that inhabit this planet, the options are endless.
Ecosystem ecology provides a concrete opportunity to make a difference. Programs, like Dinamica, allow for people around the world to manage their environments for the best environmental practices and the optimal social equity. I am so happy I learned even a little bit about computer modeling, and I am pleased with the skills I have gained.
I want to thank Gillian Galford for leading me through this challenging course. Also, thanks Tom Hudspeth and Eric Gottesman for being the two people who read my blog. I may even keep up with this past graduation as I am working in the forests performing research for William Keeton this summer. Ecosystem ecology is a theme that will be with me forever, so the blog will still be relevant.
As far as plans for after the summer, you’ll have to stay posted and feel free to shoot me emails with job opportunities: firstname.lastname@example.org