Ms. Anna Kowanko | St. Lawrence University Environmental Studies

Ms. Anna Kowanko

Anna Kowanko
Class year: 
Environmental Studies and Sociology
Asian Studies
Upper Jay, NY

Anna’s interests in environmental studies were kindled by attending a high school in the Adirondack Mountains in Keene Valley, NY that composted food waste, served great local food in the cafeteria, and celebrated Earth Day for a full day with the whole school each year. Growing up in this atmosphere nurtured her growing interests.  Watching her Adirondack hometown get decimated by flooding during Hurricane Irene was a turning point.  Anna worked with her science teacher to bring a climate change expert to her school and witnessed even the youngest schoolchildren respond with optimism and action after exposure to these ideas.  

For Anna’s whole initial college semester she studied in London as part of a new first-year program opportunity.  The environmental activism in many European countries inspired her.  When Anna returned to campus she enrolled in Environmental Studies 101 and after completing a research project on the unequal effects of climate change around the world, she added sociology to her major. Though Anna originally intended to be a biochemistry major, she decided to pursue a degree in environmental studies and sociology with a minor in Asian studies.  St. Lawrence has afforded her many experiences, among them participating in an environmental march in Washington D.C. as well as attending Powershift, an environmental leadership conference.

In her junior year Anna studied in India for a semester, conducting field research on the problems facing small farmers. A highlight of her time in India was meeting the world-renowned environmental activist, Vandana Shiva.  Anna has built on those studies in research back on campus and is so grateful for the many and varied experiences she’s had in her time enrolled at St. Lawrence.

Anna Kowanko and giant trees