My name's Ellen Conrad. I'm from Indiana. I just graduated from Goshen College with a BA in Environmental Science-Sustainability.
What got you interested in sustainability?
Climate change is such an overwhelming problem, requiring incredible amounts of creativity and innovation to address. Sustainability is a field which is centered around that creativity and represents a silver lining to an otherwise looming problem. Humans are often the cause of destruction to our environment, but through embracing sustainability, we have an opportunity to make positive change.
What sustainability, energy, and mobility issues are important to you?
I am interested in how to integrate sustainability into everyday life choices, especially with transportation. There are many opportunities to find creative ways to make public transportation a more accessible and reasonable alternative to driving, including changing the way we plan cities, lay out transportation routes, and advertise it to the public. I’m interested in learning more about alternative transportation options that are convenient, equitable, affordable, and innovative.
What exciting projects/research are you working on now?
I just graduated from Goshen College and I am using this summer to live sustainably. My projects include working in community gardens, building my own bike, learning about compost, reading up on current environmental research, and continuing my involvement with local sustainability movements like the Citizens Climate Lobby.
What are your plans for the next five years?
This fall I will be participating in a Pittsburgh based service program called PULSE (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience). There I will be doing environmental work with an NGO for a year gaining experience in my field and living as a part of the Pittsburgh community. After PULSE, the future is a mystery but I’m excited to explore graduate school options, travel, and expand my interests.
What made you want to apply to SISE?
Why wouldn’t I want to apply for SISE? It will be an amazing experience to engage in a community of people that are just as passionate about sustainability as I am. I am looking forward to meeting leaders in my field, exploring Chicago, and learning things that I’m interested in every day.
What are you most looking forward to doing in the city?
As a dedicated foodie, I am looking forward to experiencing the diverse food Chicago has to offer. I’m always open to suggestions and company!
Do you like cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?
Like cats? I love cats, especially those who like to cuddle and watch movies with me.