Environmental Studies at UVM

Claire Wiggin '16

ENVS major in Rubenstein School of Environment Natural Resources, concentrating in Food, Land, and Community, with a double minor in Ecological Agriculture and Women and Gender Studies

Although I thought I was sure I wanted to attend a very small liberal arts college, coming from southern Connecticut where there are virtually no mountains, one visit to UVM and one clear view of the Green Mountains sold me. I am a sophomore ENVS major with a concentration is Food, Land, and Community.  I chose the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources because their core courses integrate experiential learning. Although I don’t have to have a minor I am pursuing a double minor in Ecological Agriculture and Women and Gender Studies.

claireI am very busy with several student clubs. I am the President of VSTEP—Vermont Students Towards Environmental Protection, a coordinator for SEEDS—Student Environmental Educators Doing Service, and have taken an active role with the Eco Reps and Student Climate Culture. In SEEDS, we pair UVM students with elementary after-school programs in the Burlington area. I feel hopeful for the future when I am among children connecting with the natural world.  Last summer, I interned for the nonprofit organization Green Village Initiative at their urban farm in Bridgeport, Conn.  I helped finish construction of the farm, work on the production end, and establish community relationships. This internship is what ultimately led me to a concentration in Food, Land, and Community.

As a sophomore, I am still unsure of my post-college plans. Before then I hope to become more acquainted with the Burlington agricultural community because I want to pursue vegetable farming (or maybe I shall have a great, big garden one day!). I want to take classes that connect my Women and Gender Studies minor with my environmental focus because I believe women play a pivotal role in the modern environmental movement.

“Do the best that you can in the place where you are, and be kind.” – Scott Nearing

Here I am above with a chicken at Shelburne Farms, in my experiential learning bliss!