As an inhabitant of the planet, I am interested in sustainability and preserving the few untouched spots left on Earth because of the irreplaceable value the natural world provides for us. I feel that an appreciation for the natural world comes from exposure to Earth’s wonders. Exploring different natural environments through traveling and embarking on ecotourism trips challenge you not only to embrace the complexities of the few preserved parts of our planet but also to cultivate a desire to expand your knowledge of other cultures – both sustainable and wasteful. When humans separate themselves so completely from the natural world, they forget that they, too, are part of nature. When this happens, decisions are made without considering the environmental effects they will have. I believe the bridge to prevent this disconnect is education.
At UCI, I am a member of the sorority Pi Beta Phi, and I am also involved with two research projects on campus – one in the Education Department on cognition and learning and the other in the medical school on acute stroke patients.
I am really looking forward to immersing myself into the culture of Costa Rica and taking in all of the natural beauty that surrounds the area. It will be a refreshing change not to have access to any technology on the trip and being able to get truly engulfed in the experience without outside distractions. I am also looking forward to sharing my experience when I get back, especially lessons learned about global sustainability and how to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.