Nicholas School Financial Aid Helping Forge Future Leaders


– I grew up in Colorado. I’ve always grown up hiking
and camping and being out in the mountains as much as possible. I guess the moment I really
decided this is a career path, that this is something interesting for me, was during my freshmen year of college. I took an environmental sociology class, and it inherently spoke to a lot of things that I cared about but hadn’t really realized that this is a field that I can do something
about this with my life. I applied to six schools
around the country, and got into all of them. A large part of why I came to Duke was because they gave me the
best financial aid offer. There are a lot of different
things I can see myself doing. I think that’s one of the
great things about this program is that it sets me up with knowledge to go into a variety of different career paths. For the MEM in the ESC concentration, we focus on an ecosystem and a skill set. My skill set is mostly in EGIS
and forced inventory stuff. That’s my remote sensing class, which is a really crucial tool for studying forest at a larger scale. It’s something that I’ve talked to a few Duke alums that work in the
forest conservation realm and many of them have told me, “I wish I would have
taken remote sensing.” So, here you go, I taking remote sensing. It’s nice to have the opportunity to get out into the Duke forest. We were basically walking a
transect through this forest and at certain intervals we would stop and take a prism plot,
measure a few trees, figure out how they were,
figure their diameter. Those are all skills that we would use if we were trying to inventory a forest. Figure out what animal species are there, how much timber you can get out of it, how much carbon you can sequester there. I heard about The
Conservation Fund before. My project during the summer was to create a portfolio of impact metrics. Because I was crunching
through 27 of these properties, I built a lot of models to make GIS run through all of the stuff for me. When you work with these
GIS systems you can never learn everything there is to know. But if you know how to problem solve, and you know how to
look for the information that you don’t have at them moment, that’s a hugely important skill. It took me a while to be ready
to go back to grad school, but I think I needed that
time to now be in the place where I can really, fully appreciate the opportunity that I have. I feel proud to be part of this community and then I also feel excited to finish my degree and get
out into the working world and then contribute to the community that makes other future students feel proud. I just feel gratitude
to be able to be here. Weather that was through someone who read through my application and thought, “Hey this girl has potential.” Or someone who donated,
even if it was $10, that went to a fund that
gave me a scholarship that got me here. That’s hugely important to me. (bright acoustic music)

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