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Profile in Sustainability: Chris Keeley, Environmental Conservation Major

May 5, 2010

Chris Keeley, UOS intern and graduating senior in environmental conservation

What have you learned by interning at the University Office of Sustainability (UOS) and being part of UNH's sustainability internship program (SIP)?

Keeley: Working at UOS has provided me with a deeper understanding of, and appreciation for how sustainability comes to life at UNH and what sustainability looks like in action. Working at UOS and collecting data for the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) has showed me how sustainability is integrated on a college campus, and SIP has opened my eyes to the growing urgency of sustainability in the workforce.

What do you think you might do with your UNH degree in environmental conservation studies?

Keeley: That’s the beauty and the challenge of my interdisciplinary degree: I can go so many different directions with it. In an ideal world I would find myself working outdoors at a job that I love. In the short term I'm hoping to continue my studies at UNH through a Master in Natural Resources. I'm interested in exploring how rural communities can sustainably manage their natural, cultural, and historical resources without jeopardizing sense of place or degrading ecological processes. This interest stems from reflecting on the changes to places like the Northern Maine woods that I have seen just in my lifetime.

What motivates you personally to be involved in sustainability?

Keeley: Sustainability is at the core of our longevity and quality of life. I wish for my life and my career to have a meaningful impact for future generations, and I believe promoting sustainability is the best way to do so. It feels better to be part of the solution rather than contribute to the problem. I have always desired a career that is meaningful, not just to myself but to the world around me. Moreover, I see sustainable living as analogous to living responsibly. Ecology teaches us that everything is connected to everything. Shouldn't we then recognize this truth and strive to live in balance with the world around us?


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