Environmental issues impact different groups of people differently. It was interesting to learn how things like gender and class come into play with environmental issues.
Christie Behot became interested in the Environmental Studies Program at Lafayette as a result of her upbringing. She was homeschooled and spent a lot of time learning outside and taking field trips. “I’ve always felt connected to nature,” Behot recalled.
As an environmental studies major, Behot has been able to further explore her connection to nature through coursework. As part of a conservation biology course, Behot completed community service at Jacobsburg State Park, helping to rid a section of the park of an invasive plant. Behot felt the hands-on experience showed her how truly difficult it is to remove an invasive species once it’s in an area. She explained, “They spread so quickly and have no natural predators.”
Also a result of coursework was Christie’s most transformative experience during her time at Lafayette, taking EGRS 230 – Environmental Justice. Behot feels the course expanded her outlook on the way different groups of people are impacted by the environment. EGRS 230 is an interdisciplinary course that explores the intersection of social justice and environmental stewardship in an attempt to understand the various dimensions of the environmental justice movement and how it affects modern society. “It was interesting to learn how things like gender and class come into play with environmental issues,” Behot remembered of the course.
Behot has also been involved in several extra-curricular activities and student groups at Lafayette. In addition to being a photographer for the school’s newspaper, she is a member of LEAP, Take Back the Tap and an EcoRep. As an EcoRep, Behot works on monthly programming and posters for the campus residence halls. The programming is environmentally related and includes topics such as food scarcity. Behot also feels that her involvement in the Take Back the Tap initiative has made her aware of how much water she consumes and how many plastic water bottles she uses and recycles. “I always try to have a reusable bottle with me now,” Behot added.
After graduation, Behot hopes to work in the environmental field for a year or two before possibly pursuing graduate school.