Today, I’d like to put the spotlight on one of our outstanding interns. Her name is Hailee Durand, and she is a student at the University of Colorado in Boulder studying (get this) Math, Chemistry, and Spanish! Twice a week she drives all the way from Boulder to spend the day researching, weeding, testing our water, and various other activities related to running aquaponics systems. I asked her to answer some questions about herself so that all of us in the Nourish the Planet community can learn more about this great person. She will also be posting regularly about her time here, so stay tuned for that.

Question: When did you first become interested in sustainability?

Answer: Living as a student in Boulder you hear a lot about sustainability and different ways to help support the environment. It was listening to the people of the community and the university that I first learned the importance of sustainability within any society.

Question: What are the most interesting/important things that you’ve learned since being an intern at Nourish the Planet?

Answer: I’ve learned so much since starting this internship. Before I applied for the position I hadn’t even heard of aquaponics let alone Nourish the Planet. I think the most important thing I’ve learned is how aquaponics actually works, and the impact it could have on the future. But, the most interesting thing I’ve learned is how effectively and easily “all natural” actually works. At the grocery store the fact that produce is organic is a big deal, and the high prices make it seem as if organic is an almost impossibility when it comes to growing food; that’s not true. Here at Nourish the Planet everything is organic, and it goes above and beyond that. Everything is recycled: from the water, to the fish waste. Even the old tomato leaves are transformed into a natural insect repellent for the plants. It’s fascinating how everything has a purpose after it’s been used for it’s original function. It’s actually really cool.


Question: How do you incorporate sustainability into your life?

Answer: I understand how important protecting the environment is to the future of our planet, and I try hard to do my part. I walk almost everywhere I need to go and take the bus when the trip is too far. My roommate and I also recycle and try to reduce the amount of food we waste. And, being a Boulderite, I also always take my own bags when grocery shopping.


Question: What do you want to see change in the world in the next 10 years?

Answer: That is a very tough question, there is so much I hope for, for the future. Food for everyone, a form of natural fuel for cars, cures for all incurable illnesses, fully functioning artificial organs and a livable world for future generations are just a few of them.


Question: What are your goals for the future?

Answer: I am a Biochemistry, Applied Mathematics and Spanish major, currently studying in my third year at CU – Boulder. What I’d really love to do is teach elementary level Spanish and English to bilingual students, but I’m currently on the path to go into pharmaceutical research. There are so many different illnesses and sicknesses in the world that plague the world today. I hope to spend my future studying and working towards different ways to prevent the onset of some of these illnesses such as cancer and alzheimer’s, as well as, the improvement of anti-rejection drugs that are required for organ transplants.


to be continued…

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