Friday, May 2, 2014

Rozalia Project Intern Blog: Academics inspiring action

This Rozalia Project blog entry is from Mary Richards. Mary comes from Beverly, MA and goes to school at Middlebury College in Vermont studying Environmental Chemistry.

I grew up two blocks from the ocean in Beverly, Massachusetts, a coastal town north of Boston. Every summer, for as long as I can remember, my extended family and I have visited Provincetown, Massachusetts, the town at the outermost tip of Cape Cod, for a week at the end of August. Growing up and vacationing on the beach had always been a privilege that I took for granted, until I came to Middlebury College, a small liberal arts college located in the landlocked state of Vermont. Before being at college, I had never realized how lucky I am to have had access to the ocean throughout my life thus far. 

At Middlebury College, I have recently begun the environmental part of my environmental chemistry major. With this semester dominated by classes representing various aspects of the environmental science realm, I have read and discussed in great detail the significance of the diverse ecosystems around the world and their vulnerability as a result of human activity. I feel that these mostly theoretical discussions in my courses this past semester have inspired me to want to apply my studies to an experience where I am able to directly observe and study the health of the environment. After spending so much time around the ocean – going on walks, runs, beach trips, sea glass searches, etc. – I found the chance to explore the ocean at a deeper level with the Rozalia Project to be an exciting opportunity. 

Because human well-being is so intricately linked with the health of the ocean, an ecosystem that makes up a huge part of our environment, I look forward to conducting research in regards to the impacts of pollution on marine wildlife, and how these effects relate to the consequences we experience on land. 

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