A lot of my personal interests have drawn me outside of buildings and cities and into environments that resemble nature most closely. From a young age, I have been drawn to the trees, streams and animals within forested environments and I have delighted in opportunities to experience the various types of environments that Earth has to offer. I have found so much entertainment in the natural pathways of the world, from rivers to overgrown forests and man-made trails through natural settings, the varieties of experience are endless.
New River Gorge, WV
As I developed my academic interests throughout high school, I learned about the environmental processes that humans depend on throughout the world. My interests centered on the different processes that determine resource systems in each place. I traveled to Costa Rica on a service trip between my freshman and sophomore year and witnessed the differences in resource use and the outlook of individuals on the natural environment. I remember hearing "pura vida!" frequently while I was in Costa Rica. The way that simple phrase was illustrated in the culture of the country is hard to capture fully in words, but it contributed to a welcoming community around the country. I frequently recall that international experience as a reminder of how the different the cultures and places of the world are all a part of one planet.
Escuela las tumbas, Costa Rica
Studying geography helps me to contextualize the different physical and cultural resources around the world in a spatial context. Pura vida becomes much more than a phrase in a foreign language after you have spent time with the people in the country, eating their food and spending time in their communities. Descriptions of places and communities can help to enhance global networks of cooperation by establishing cultural familiarity between distant populations. As I have developed my understanding of different global processes I have become more interested in communicating the similarities that every human on Earth shares.
Link to Youtube Video: About Me