Miriam Nelson '23 (she/her/hers)
Where do you call home?
Blue Hill, Maine
What are your major(s) and minor(s)?
Environmental Studies and Political Science double major
What is your favorite outdoor activity?
I love everything in the outdoors! In particular, this includes hiking, backpacking, ocean kayaking, paddleboarding, and swimming.
Why did you decide to major in Environmental Studies?
Having been immersed in the outdoors from a young age, I grew a fond appreciation for everything in and a part of it. Through high school, I was introduced to environmental policy issues. With this introduction, I felt as though I would be able to make a positive change against climate change and related injustices by learning about and researching current environmental issues.
What environmental issue are you most passionate about?
Growing up on the coast of Maine, I have been fortunate to witness unique and awe-inspiring ecosystems. Although this has instilled in me a desire to work on a multitude of environmental issues, I find that those dealing with freshwater and marine resource conservation are of particular importance to me. This can include ensuring access to clean drinking water, removing sources of pollution (including microplastics), and limiting industrial fisheries.
What is your favorite Environmental Studies class and why?
Humans and the Environment. I highly enjoyed studying soundscape ecology (and memorizing frog calls).
What was the focus of your research for ENVR 320? What were your findings?
In ENVR 320, I studied how land trusts are managing bird conservation in the face of climate change. I found that although many land trusts (I coded the websites of major national land trusts) were interested in climate adaptations and species protection broadly, few mentioned birds specifically. Regardless, bird interest, research, and citizen science groups have developed frameworks that would allow land trusts to strategically protect land to aid birds in the face of climate change impacts.
What advice do you have for first year students and majors?
When you think you need it (and sometimes even if you don't), ask for help. Your professors can be your most important resource on campus, and if you ask, they may be able to assist you with whatever your questions or concerns may be. There are many other resources on campus (the writing center, librarians, health services, etc.) that look out for your best interests and can be of immense help.