“What do your parents do?” was for some reason a question grown-ups loved to ask elementary school kids. “Dentist” was an easy response to describe my dad’s job. People don’t ask too many questions about what a dentist does, and I successfully fielded the ones that did come up. My mom’s job was a different story. I memorized the phrase “environmental consultant” to appease those that were just asking to be polite. I struggled to find answers though for the more pesky curious ones who had follow-up questions.
It did come with some perks though. My childhood was filled with outdoor excursions and species identification. Instead of going to ride the rides at Disney World, I drove the front-end loader at a Georgia landfill. I boated through marshland to discuss waste management with island residents. I delivered water to judges at the Road-E-O where garbage trucks wound their way through a series of obstacles. I attended a 5 year birthday party for a recycling center.
By the time I was heading to college, I could confidently say that my mom worked with local and state governments to effectively manage their solid waste and even had some anecdotes to clarify. I moved into the sustainability-themed first-year residence complex. Then I stuck with it the next year. And the next year. And this year as well. Emory has opened up a whole new set of sustainability adventures.
Since coming to Emory, I have wandered through Lullwater Preserve, a nature preserve adjacent to campus, mapping invasive species. I have helped to write Emory’s sustainable history (which can be found at Emory’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives website). I have also conducted interdisciplinary individual research into the differences between the Montreal and Kyoto protocols, researching this topic from a linguistic and game theory perspective.
This is the next adventure in sustainability. Welcome to COP Intel! This site will follow my journey through ENVS 326 at Emory University all the way to COP23 in Bonn, Germany!