Jane Koll '21 (she/her/hers)

Where do you call home?

Winona, Minnesota

What are your majors/minors?

Environmental Studies

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Long walks in the woods :)

Why did you major in Environmental Studies?

I chose Environmental Studies because I wanted to learn how to better appreciate and understand the natural world around me. I was also interested in taking any and all classes that involved getting outside to interact with the nature of our beautiful campuses. 

What is your favorite Environmental Studies class and why?

My favorite Environmental Studies class thus far has been ENVR 275: Humans in the Environment. I loved the prairie grasses unit which had us traipsing around the SJU tall grass prairie, identifying and sketching a variety of grasses. Learning about and building a model passive solar home was also pretty neat!

What environmental issue are you most passionate about?

I really enjoy researching and learning about the benefits of spending time outside and interacting with the physical natural environment. Issues like "Nature-deficit disorder" or the simple lack of awareness/knowledge in regard to the natural world are some of the things I spend time thinking about and ultimately feel most passionate about.

What was the focus of your research for ENVR 320? What were your findings?

My research for ENVR 320 was about the "rewilding" of cities through the process of urban greening. I wanted to see if physical greening in the form of green roofs, living walls, tree planting, etc. in urban areas could impact people's perceptions of the natural world and encourage pro-environmental behavior/attitudes. My findings suggested that yes, there are many significant benefits of urban greening- one of which included an increase in awareness and support of the natural world around us. The scale of urban greening must increase quite a bit in order for a dramatic impact to occur, but with the way the future is headed, this overarching theme of sustainable building design is definitely on the rise. 

What advice do you have for first year students and majors?

My advice is simple: get outside and enjoy the physical environment of CSB/SJU! Also, don't be afraid to share what you learn in class with your family and friends because knowing about and understanding the environment this day and age is so important. Knowledge is power... so share what you know!