Recent EPC Winners of Major Scholarships and Fellowships
* Mark Silberg, Udall Scholarship, 2012-2013, Honorable Mention
* Kevin Short, Northwestern Circumnavigator Grant, 2013
* Elizabeth Miller, Udall Scholarship, 2011-12, Honorable Mention
* Julia Steege, Princeton in Latin America, 2011-12
* Rachel Smith, Fulbright Scholarship, 2010-11
* Emily Wright, Udall Scholarship, 2010-11
* Elizabeth Meryl Summers, Fulbright Scholarship, 2009-10
* Sam McAleese, Northwestern Circumnavigator Grant, 2009
* Sam Schiller, Udall Scholarship, 2008-09
* EPC students are participating in a student-staff collaborative effort to develop sustainable food practices and products on campus through Wild Roots, on the south lawn of Norris center. Molly Hoisington says the garden is thriving yielding vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers. You can join the facebook group by searching Wild Roots at Northwestern University or check out the blog at http://nuwildroots.wordpress.com/. Even better- come see the garden and help it grow!
* Student group Green It Now (Engineers for Sustainable Development) won a $65,000 grant from Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF) to install the first solar panel on a Nortwhestern University building. EPC student and leader of the group, Ren Chung Yu, says the group raised more than $100,000 and will begin to install the solar panel on the roof of the Ford Building within the next few months. EPC has supported the project, which was approved by Facilities Management.
Senior, History and EPC
Aloha! In summer, 2010, I worked at the USDA Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) as a student researcher, in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. My research focused on sustainable agriculture, consisting of two parts. For the first part, I researched an integrated pest management (IPM) program, which reduce the amount of pesticides sprayed on agricultural fields through a multi-pronged approach. I experimented with the augmentation of populations of parasitoid wasps to control the melon fly infestation. For the second part, through established USDA contacts I conducted a
series 12 of interviews evaluating the future of sustainable agriculture on the island, speaking with some of the most prominent and innovative growers in Hawaii. I traveled to their farms and learned about their practices, market strategies and outlook on the compatibility of environmentalism and agriculture. Moreover, I was often gifted freshly grown produce (I still dream about the mangoes and pineapples!).
My experience was personally and professionally valuable. The reality
of living in Hawaii is very different from visiting and I came to
appreciate a unique ‘local’ culture. During downtime, I learned how to
surf, hiked the trails of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and visitedthe world-renowned observatory on Mauna Kea
Last summer I spent 7 weeks working as an intern at Glacier National Park in northern Montana. Glacier National Park is located in the Rocky Mountains along the Canadian Border, and adjoins Canada's Waterton Lakes to form the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, which was the world's first International Peace Park and serves as a model for many other parks that have since been created to preserve eco-systems across international borders. While I was there I worked as a Citizen Scientist for the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center (CCRLC). My primary job was to assist the CCRLC in data collection for ongoing studies on the Park's mountain goat, loon, and pika populations. Pikas are small lagomorphs, related to rabbits, who are very sensitive to Climate Change. They have evolved to survive in colder temperatures, and diminishing populations due to a warming climate will very likely make them the second animal be listed as endangered due to Global Warming. Most work days were spent hiking many miles out to designated locations within the Park to complete observations of the mountain goats, loons, and/or pikas. While on the trail, I also aided in the Noxious Weed program by locating and/or removing any invasive weeds that I found along the way. On some of my days off, I would volunteer in the Park's Native Plant Nursery, which raises plants to restore areas that have been damaged due to repeated human disturbance. However I spent most of my days off either picking wild huckleberries or exploring many of the Park's magnificent trails. Glacier has more than 700 miles of trail and I was lucky enough to get to see close to 300 of them. The diverse wildlife and incomparable beauty of the Park make Glacier one of our nation's greatest treasures, and the time I spent there was not only incredibly invaluable, but life-changing.
Junior, EPC and Political Science
Spending Fall quarter 2009 in China with the NU study abroad program- China: Environment and Development
“UNICORNS, LEPRECHAUNS, CLEAN COAL!”
I was one of hundreds of young environmental activists chanting this on the West Lawn of the Capital building on March 2. The rally on Capital Hill was the final event of PowerShift 2009.
Last year I was one of six Northwestern students who joined over 12,000 other young people from across the country to attend Power Shift, a four-day conference about environmental problems in Washington, D.C. The conference offered a plethora of panels and workshops to choose from, including “Population, Reproductive Justice, and Climate Change” and “The Road to Copenhagen: The Future of International Climate Agreements”. During each of the six sessions, I learned the seemingly endless extent of climate change’s effects and I heard how very different people were finding unique solutions that addressed climate change, poverty, and other cross-cutting issues. We also had training sessions to learn how to lobby Congressmen and their aides and then I joined my fellow constituents to talk with Wisconsin and Illinois lawmakers and share our personal stories about our connections to the environmental movement. That day, Power Shift activists held over 200 meetings with representatives from all 50 states, and even some territories, solely to present a unified platform to our leaders, asking them to take action now on climate change, clean energy, and a green economy. Reflecting on my experience at Power Shift, I realized that this was not just an opportunity to learn more about clean energy, green jobs, and other parts of the environmental movement. The conference also reminded me about the diversity within the movement and it refreshed my passion and drive to help make change happen. Most importantly, it showed me that although the road ahead of us seems very daunting at times, we are all in this together and will endure together.
Junior, Speech and EPC
Spending fall quarter 2009 in Duke OTS Costa Rica Tropical Studies Study Abroad Program
Last year I was selected to participate as a research assistant in Professor Sarah Taylor’s project on Green Religion and Green Culture. This was an excellent and fulfilling experience. The position has connected me to faculty and taught me to use valuable research resources at Northwestern. It has given me important research method skills that I will undoubtedly use in future work. Much of my focus has been on new methods of environmentally friendly burial techniques and I now consider myself incredibly knowledgeable in the field. Having the opportunity to work alongside a professor has been extraordinary and I have learned a great deal simply from seeing the process Professor Taylor uses in her research. The thoroughness and accuracy required for professional research has taught me to have a heightened sense of responsibility and accountability. The position has been a perfect complement to my studies and provides essential experience for any ambitious student at Northwestern.
Junior, Communication Studies and EPC
Last summer I was a policy intern at the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago. ELPC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization composed of lawyers, lobbyists, and MBAs who work on environmental policy in the Midwest. I loved getting firsthand experience with real world policy and knowing that the research I did was directly contributing to craft advocacy programs, speeches, and help bills get passed in the various state legislatures.
Ren Chung Yu
Senior, Electrical Engineering, Economics, and EPC
Spending fall quarter 2009 in China with the China: Development and Environment Program
Last year I started, together with a group of other members of Engineers for Sustainable World on campus, a new project called Green It Now (GRIN-ESW). The goal of the project is to promote sustainability on campus. We’ve worked with Facilities Management NU to performs an energy audit for the GREEN House (green-leaving dorm at Northwestern). GRIN-ESW identified eight energy saving measures, totaling around $3,000 in annual energy savings per year. With these savings, it would take only a year and a half to recover the total capital cost (around $4,500) invested.
The energy audit was completed in June 2009 and we hope the measures we proposed will be implemented. See more information about GRIN-ESW, visit the Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) NU website at www.eswnu.org.