Emily Lindahl became interested in environmental studies as a junior in high school while taking a class that covered various environmental topics. “The topics were scary in a sense,” she recalled. The class discussed issues like climate change that need to be solved and are not getting enough attention. This realization led Lindahl to enroll at Lafayette as an environmental studies major, and her time at Lafayette has been full of unique experiences.
Emily feels her most transformative experience as a student was her semester abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. “It was really inspiring to see such a sustainable city, and how much room there is to grow for the U.S. to be more sustainable,” Lindahl explained. While in Copenhagen, Emily completed courses in sustainable development in northern Europe, life cycle assessment and business strategies in green industries. Overall, she described the experience as eye-opening.
Other unique experiences of Emily’s were created through volunteer work. As a member of the Mosaic staff, she runs the volunteer program for Easton’s Nurture Nature Center. The volunteer program takes place on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday evenings. The Tuesday volunteer group works on the center’s kids craft program, and the Thursday volunteers attend the center’s open houses and help with events. Lindahl has been involved on the Mosaic staff since her freshman year, and feels the project has grown a lot since then. Emily has also served as the President of Alternative School Break, a campus organization with a mission to “create positive change and foster passion for civic engagement through alternative break experiences.”
In addition to volunteer work, Emily has completed a couple of environmentally related internships. She interned under the Chief Sustainability Officer at the Suffolk County Water Authority of Long Island, New York. She also interned at Sustainable Long Island, a non-profit organization with a mission to advance economic development, environmental health and social equity across the Long Island region. Emily’s internship focused on food equity. As part of this internship, she worked at a small farmers market in a local food desert.
For those considering a major in environmental studies, Emily advises building relationships with the professors on campus, including those who are not necessarily environmental studies professors. “[Environmental Studies] is a field that can be tackled from so many different perspectives. It’s interesting to hear thoughts from different areas like geology and policy studies,” Emily explained. After graduation, Emily is considering a career in sustainability consulting or working for a sustainable start-up.