Originally from Richmond, KY, Garrett is a rising senior at Centre College where he is pursuing a major in English literature and a minor in Environmental Studies. He is especially interested in food policy, environmental justice, and conservation. Garrett enjoys staying involved on campus, where he serves as a Resident Director and President of Centre Queers & Allies. Following his interest in campus sustainability, Garrett recently led an initiative to recycle Centre’s electronic waste responsibly and ethically. Outside of school, Garrett enjoys traveling, running, hiking, vegetarian cuisine, and early 20th century American literature.
Looking for a quick and easy way to reduce your carbon footprint, minimize water usage, and reduce our foreign dependence on fossil fuels? Skipping meat on Mondays—just one day a week—is an impacting and immediate way to do all these things. It’s easy to make little changes like this for a step in the right direction!
Nature.org: Have you always had an interest in conservation?
When I was a kid, I spent most of my time outside. Whether it was riding bikes and scraping knees on trails or camping with my family at Red River Gorge, I’ve always loved the outdoors. It wasn’t until high school that I became aware of some of the things that threaten our natural spaces in Kentucky, namely mountaintop removal coal mining and reckless development. The more I study and the more I travel, the more I recognize the importance of protecting our natural environment. Preserving these spaces from threats is not only important for the environment—it’s important for Kentuckians who want to live happy and healthy lives.
Nature.org: What made you choose to intern with TNC?
Dr. Mike Hamm, the Chairman of TNC’s Board of Trustees, mentioned this position to me one day after class last spring. He explained to me the great things the Conservancy does, especially their work at the Green River. TNC has an established reputation as a worldwide leader in conservation, so it’s great to be a part of the great things they are doing here in Kentucky. Interning at a place that does such great work in my home state is a win-win—I stay close to home and I get to help protect the places I grew up around.
Nature.org: What projects have your focus right now?
Right now I’m working on marketing the Conservancy and its work to young Kentuckians in an effort to engage their participation. This includes creating a Tumblr and rethinking the ways in which TNC reaches young people through social media. I’m also beginning to explore the ways TNC works with youth organizations in an effort to increase student volunteer involvement.
Nature.org: What do you hope to learn during your time with TNC?
While working for TNC, I hope to gain a general understanding of the ins and outs of an environmental non-profit—where they work, how they work, and how all the separate divisions work together. Specifically, I’m excited to learn how this organization communicates its goals and its work to Kentucky. I hope that my position here this summer will pave the way for future opportunities in non-profit work, specifically those that focus on sustainability, conservation, and education.June 13, 2012