McKenzie Blaine '22 (she/her/hers)

Where do you call home?

Omaha, Nebraska

What are your majors/minors?

Environmental Studies major, Biology concentration

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

It is a tie between biking and swimming.

Why did you decide to major in Environmental Studies?

When I was a young child, I developed an awareness for the environment through the knowledge my dad passed down to me. He would identify tree, clouds, constellations, and topographic formations any chance he got, and it made me look at the environment differently. The first dream job I had as a kid was a meteorologist and though my career ambitions have changed, the interest of studying the environment stuck.

What environmental issue are you most passionate about?

Though I have many environmental issues that I am passionate about, the environmental issue I am most focused on is protecting the water on this Earth. Specifically, I am passionate about sustainable farming and mitigating farm runoff as well as stopping oil pipelines from being constructed. 

What is your favorite Environmental Studies class and why?

My favorite Environmental Studies course that I have taken is Earth Systems (175). This course has been my favorite environmental class because it covers so many different natural phenomena that takes place around us all the time. In particular, it was fascinating tto learn about ecological feedback loops, tree identification, rock formation, soil composition, and atmospheric science. All these topics  are very practical things to know about our world, too, and it has given me a better understanding of natural cycles. It is a great introductory course for Environmental Studies. 

What are you looking forward to as an Environmental Studies student?

Something I look forward to as an Environmental Studies student is continuing to build my relationships with the professors of  the Environmental Studies department. All the staff have been very welcoming, understanding, and engaged in the students' lives. I feel very fortunate to have these professors shape my education.