Liam Cavanaugh


My name is Liam Cavanaugh. I’m from Georgia. I work at Wisotsky Law where I am a paralegal.

What sustainability, energy, and community issues are important to you?

As all of us interact with the natural world, whether directly or indirectly, solutions to environmental challenges require a greater public understanding and collective, educated effort. Presently, many of the ideas and findings coming from field professionals tend to circulate among only their respective communities. Bridging the gap, establishing spaces and avenues for information exchange among not only different professional communities, but also professional and non-professional groups, holds a particular importance for me. Following the same people-oriented focus in devising approaches to tackling environmental issues, I find considering where accessibility, socioeconomics, culture, and language intersect with sustainability to be a crucial endeavor. A solution can only be viable when the needs of and factors affecting the involved group(s) are taken into consideration.

What exciting projects/research are you working on now?

Presently, I am collaborating with Science for Georgia, a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, to implement an installment of their Science Tales & Trails program in Athens, Georgia. Science Tales & Trails is a monthly event which brings together scientists and science enthusiasts to wander along an urban trail and discuss anything (and everything) related to STEM with the goal of increasing public understanding and appreciation for science as well as an awareness of current events in the scientific field.

What are your plans for the next five years?

I plan to pursue a professional degree, though, I am undecided on which specific area of study to focus. Of the various ideas floating around are environmental chemistry, linguistics with an emphasis on environmental communication and/or eco-linguistics, science policy, or environmental law. I’m hoping my experience at SISE will offer some clarity. As well I plan to further develop my understanding of the Spanish language and culture through continuing education courses and travel and also aim to learn additional languages.

What made you want to apply to SISE?

The intensive, interdisciplinary, collaborative environment of SISE piqued my interest. I actually came across the program searching for universities with similar approaches to environmental studies programs and upon reading more became excited at the opportunity to learn from and work with individuals of diverse backgrounds and experience.

What are you most looking forward to doing in Chicago?

I had the chance to explore Chicago once before on internship, and the museums and galleries were my favorite to wander through. This time around, though, I’m excited to interact with and learn more about the city’s people and communities on a more personal level. I’m also looking forward to some quintessential Chicago cuisine (jibaritos, especially) and will appreciate a break from the southern heat and humidity.

Do you like Cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?

I do like cats! I have a tuxedo cat, Sylvester (original name, I know), who’s roughly 17 years old and still surprisingly sprightly for his age.