After realizing his interest in scientific research of ice cores and climate change, Sam Haines decided to major in environmental science at Lafayette. Sam enjoys biology and chemistry and found that environmental science incorporates both fields.

Photo provided by Sam Haines

Sam’s lab work in biology, specifically in stream ecology courses, was his most transformative experience while at Lafayette. His work in the lab has really driven his interest in research and helped him decide what he wants to pursue after graduation. Haines plans to take the civil service test and work for a state agency of some kind. During the summer before his senior year, he interned at the Department of Environmental Protection and had a great experience. His work was in the air quality program, a topic he didn’t know much about prior to interning at the DEP. “I shadowed inspectors to businesses and worked with some policy and EPA guidance,” he explained. He regards the opportunity as very influential.

On campus, Sam was involved as an ECO rep for one year. He recommends the program as a good opportunity to get involved with sustainability on campus. The Office of Sustainability has 12 ECO rep student employees, responsible for outreach to first-year residence halls, peer education on sustainable behaviors, and on-the-ground tasks such as tending a bio-retention garden. Haines has also been a member of the swim team all four years at Lafayette and was named captain his senior year.

When asked what advice he would give to someone considering the environmental science major, Sam suggested building relationships with other students in the major early on. He noted it could be helpful to speak with upperclassman about how to navigate the major and map the curriculum. Also trying to get to know others within the same cohort can be helpful for working together on the senior capstone project and in other upper-level courses.