My name is Emma Brandt and I graduated from St. Lawrence in 2020 with a degree in Environmental Studies and English. From my first semester on campus, I knew the environmental studies department would be at the foundation of my education. My first class in the department was called sustainable agriculture, which allowed me to explore the North Country. We supplemented in-class time with visits to local farms and did farm work at the department’s Ecological Sustainability Landscape (ESL). This class helped me build connections in the community which I furthered by doing a work for share at one of the farms my Junior Fall. I worked for a few hours each week and in return got to bring some of the fresh food back to my room.
In the fall of my sophomore year, I participated in the Adirondack semester. One of the classes, land use and planning in the Adirondacks, was through the Environmental Studies Department. Every other Friday we got in the 12-passenger van, unsure where Glen Harris would direct us! We visited local towns to talk about industrialization, looked at zoning and the process of creating a conservation easement, and discussed the local land use history. That spring I continued this line of study by taking recreation policy and planning with Pete Pettengill who would become my advisor. Having grown up recreating in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and working there for the summers, it was fascinating learning the theory behind their management and try my had at writing an Environmental Impact Statement.
I culminated my Environmental Studies education with an SYE (senior year experience). My advisor and I went on a multi-day backpacking trip to record data on camping impacts around Cranberry Lake. We measured the sites and recorded information on other impact indicators such as exposed soil, trash, number of fire pits etc. We compared this data to data from five years ago, and with his consultation I drafted a paper for journal submission. The summer after graduating I continued to work for the Appalachian Mountain Club in their White Mountain huts. I lived and worked in Lakes of the Clouds hut on the shoulder of Mount Washington. I’m currently applying to land conservation jobs in Maine and New Hampshire. My studies at SLU guided me towards the path I’m now pursuing and I’m so grateful for the support and relationships I formed there. I’m excited to see where the future takes me and use the skills I developed.