We just selected our Fall 2012 cohort of interns! We are so excited to have them on board. As with past cohorts we will be introducing a new member each week. This week we have one of our Fisheries Interns, Lauren Staley. Her exuberance and excitement is truly contagious! Here is a bit about her in her own words:
My name is Lauren Olivia Staley and I recently moved to Colorado from Maryland, my home state, where I went to the University of Maryland for Environmental Science and Technology. I grew up in a small town right at the base of the Appalachia Mountains so most of my background consists of running wild through field and forest; it wasn’t until my senior year in high school that I really settled and started focusing on any kind of academic career. Eventually I would like to go back to school to pursue a teaching degree, preferably early childhood development. I don’t really have a single hobby I pursue as the last one-whittling – ended in bandages. I do, however, enjoy the occasional camping trip, rock climbing and biking/hiking.
When did you first become interested in sustainability?
I first became interested in sustainability when I was very young, maybe about 11. Back then it wasn’t necessarily called “sustainability” but rather a discussion on how we should be treating our resources. I grew up in a very rural area and preserving our land was always readily talked about around town and in school- especially during outdoor school.
What are the most interesting/important things that you’ve learned since being an intern at Nourish the Planet?
The most important thing I’ve learned is just to be patient with myself and understand that knowledge cannot simply be poured into the mind, it must be built and formed like a sculpture. I’m so excited to be around people that have this knowledge and are passionate about the same things I am, it’s hard to remember that it takes time to reach their level of experience.
How do you incorporate sustainability into your life?
Well, besides the normal recycling and conservation, I try and keep up-to-date with what is going in the sustainable world outside of my realm of expertise or interests. I honestly believe that education on sustainability goes much farther than your average “energy conservative”. It’s easy to get pigeon-holed into one frame of mind on the subject so I try to stay pretty broad.
What do you want to see change in the world in the next 10 years?
I would love to see the world go into a black out for a year so we can force alternate-energy transitions that would otherwise take a decade to get through legislation. A little extreme? Maybe, but sometimes the wrong kinds of blockades keep the right kind of change from happening for some time. I’d also love to see the same amount of money put into our education system that’s put into professional sports. Education of our children should always be more important than how far someone can hit a ball.
What are your goals for the future?
I actually have multiple goals on a varying spectrum. I want to take legislation by storm and transform America into a leader in innovative, sustainable energy and food production; I want to pour new life into our education system, making sure every child has the same opportunity to learn and no one lives in debt for a degree. At the same time, one of the goals I’ve had the longest is to just move into the mountainous forests and live as self-reliantly as I can.
If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
I would tell myself to stop thinking I know everything and to listen even when I’m wrong. Figure out what I want for myself instead of waiting for an “interest” to just fall out of the sky. And most importantly, that anyone can make great things happen no matter where they come from or what challenges await.
What is the number one place that you would like to travel to?
I’d love to travel anywhere in Europe, but specifically Ireland or the Scottish Isles. I’ve always been captivated with their history and legends and their beautiful countryside.
What do you do to “get away from it all” or what is your passion?
I hate to say it but my very favorite escape is video games. I get to be an adventurer in a far off realm where the troubles of this world just don’t apply.
What is your favorite book that you’ve read in the past year?
I’m absolutely entranced by R.A. Salvator’s many series including “Legacy of the Drow”, “The Dark Elf Trilogy” and “Icewind Dale Trilogy”. I’m a bit of a SciFi/Fantasy nerd in my own respect.
What do you wish you were better at?
Math. I never applied myself when I was younger because I never understood it and I regret it the most in my academic career.
When you are feeling unmotivated, how do you inspire yourself?
I try and think about all the things I’ve accomplished and how far I’ve come as a person. I think about how much more life must hold if it’s been this eventful so far.
What is one sentence that describes the philosophy by which you live your life?
Think positive and positive things will always follow.
Thanks so much Lauren! We are so excited to have you with us. Check back next week to meet another of our amazing Nourish The Planet Interns!