Environmental studies major Nicole Napolski is dedicated to supporting a more sustainable environment. As a UB student she’s had the chance to explore new approaches to green living in the forests of Oregon and the Florida Everglades.
As part one of her courses, Ecology of a Unique Environment, she and her classmates backpacked on the Wind River Range of Wyoming: “We did a wilderness experience, backpacking for about a week and a half, and I studied some of the fauna and flora there.” It turned out to be one of the most memorable and challenging experiences she’s had as a UB student. “We’d go on these long, grueling hikes,” she explains, “and one time we ended up losing the trail and bushwhacking through this wooded area—it really tested people’s limits.”
Nicole has also done plenty of work closer to campus, through her work with Buffalo Niagara River Keeper and Re-Tree WNY: “I’ve worked on different cleanup sites and tried to recruit people from school.” In fact, much of the work she’s done to help improve the environment locally has been the result of her coursework at UB. “A lot of opportunities for volunteer work came through school, because a lot of my classes require some sort of community service during the semester.”
And through her Great Lakes Ecology course, she visited the local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office: “There we learned about their organization and ways that we, as students, could get involved.” And she did get involved, helping out with a festival the service sponsored in Niagara Falls.
“One thing that I really like about my program is that you’re not just cooped up in a classroom—you can go out and experience nature firsthand and learn about it,” she says.
Last updated: May 24, 2013 3:32 am EST