Margeaux Pederson '21 (She/her/hers)

Where do you call home?

Edina, Minnesota

What are your majors/minors?

Environmental Studies major, Political Science minor

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

I love any and every outdoor activity and could be happy doing anything as long as it is outdoors. I enjoy skiing, hiking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, camping, gardening, and more, but there is nothing better than relaxing in a hammock on a warm, sunny day. 

Why did you major in Environmental Studies?

I decided to pursue a major in Environmental Studies after taking an environmental course during my senior year of high school. I decided to try something new and take AP Environmental Sciences thinking we would study Earth Systems and maybe hold a worm once or twice, but it ended up being so much more than that. We learned about those natural sciences, but also human's impact on the living world, the environmental problems, and solutions. I knew that these were the problems my generation and others would have to face and it was a field I wanted to be a part of. Being an Environmental Studies major has inspired me to develop real-world solutions for real-world issues. 

What is your favorite Environmental Studies class and why?

I have learned so much from each Environmental Studies class, but the one that intrigued me in environmental policy was Environmental History with Professor Derek Larson. Not only is Derek a great professor and knows just about everything, but the class also explained a lot about how America's relationship with the environment shifted over time and environmentalism we see today came to be. It was interesting to be able to point to moments in time and have a reason why human's perspective on the environment shifted and led to how we value nature today.

 What environmental issue are you most passionate about?

The environmental issue that I am most passionate about is sustainability, but more specifically renewable energy. During high school, I learned about the beauty of solar panels, wind turbines, and renewable energy sources and began to be interested in how to replace fossil fuel plants with clean energy sources. Energy production has been one of the largest contributors to the climate crisis and disproportionately affects marginalized communities, therefore I want to work on cleaning it up and providing people with safe, renewable energy. I believe that a renewable energy transition will advance other sustainable initiatives and develop a more economically, socially, and environmentally just world. 

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

I was interested in examining the resiliency and efficiency of smart grids as a climate adaptation technique for the future of Colloquium. I found that smart grids have great potential for combating energy insecurity, being financially stable, and develop a flexible grid while combating climate change. Right now, there is more work to be done in infrastructure development and materials, yet it is a viable solution for the future to strengthen energy grids.

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

Be passionate, be excited, and be adventurous- college, and life, is filled with incredible opportunities, so take advantage of them when interesting things come along! Coming in as a freshman, I was extremely nervous about what my college experience would be like, but I continued to put myself out there, try new things, and meet incredible people I couldn't imagine not knowing, which shaped me into who I am today. College is not just about getting a degree; it's about finding yourself in the unknown and I definitely found myself through the Environmental Studies program.