Major: Woodrow Wilson School
How do you define sustainability?
Sustainability means thinking about how today's decisions impact tomorrow's options, and it is both an individual and social responsibility. Looking specifically at the environment, sustainability demands that I understand the range of my impacts on the environment and explore steps to mitigate those impacts into my daily routine. Socially, I believe that we must give significant weight to environmental concerns when making economic and policy decisions.
How does your work relate to sustainability and how did Princeton prepare you for your role?
I work across Climate Central programs to support the organization's research and communications. The connection to sustainability comes through Climate Central's work on climate change science and communication, because knowledge about the causes and impacts of climate change informs efforts to mitigate and prepare for our new reality.
Princeton challenged me to be a stronger communicator on climate change issues. One of the hardest things to do at Princeton is convince students to spend their time at your event, on your cause. For climate change specifically, I needed to communicate the immediacy of climate change impacts, and the necessity of immediate work on mitigation solutions, to a student body that largely accepted the science of climate change but did not seem to view it as an urgent matter. As a result, I had to work on crafting a stronger message. At Princeton, and at the Woodrow Wilson School specifically, I had access to numerous climate scientists and climate science communicators and policymakers, who inspired me to work on my message and deepen my understanding of the science. Speak with Style helped me build communication skills, and my current job utilizes my research and analytics background from WWS to work on becoming a science communicator.
What advice would you offer to students seeking to focus on or incorporate sustainability in their careers?
Many rewarding experiences came from learning about and working on campus sustainability. Take part in the lunch presentations on campus sustainability projects that are open to students, and find other opportunities to learn about campus sustainability. Identify a sustainability issue or two that are meaningful to you, and work with the university administration on changes for that issue. And, work with the student body, through USG and campaigns, to spread awareness and practice communication and campaign building. If you do that, you'll feel empowered and confident as you prepare for your next step.