M.S. Environmental Justice and Environmental Health
Allyson is a 3rd-year dual MS student in Environmental Justice (School of Natural Resources and Environment) and Environmental Health (School of Public Health). She helped create the UM Sustainable Food Program and Campus Farm and is also writing a thesis on stress, noise, and diet in a small-scale gold mining community of northeastern Ghana. Her love for nature and interest in environmental justice stems from growing up in Baraboo, WI, a town rooted in a strong conservation history yet facing controversies over land use and environmental health issues. After graduating from Calvin College, where she spent a semester in New Zealand and Samoa with the Creation Care Study Program, she moved to southwest Virginia to serve as an Americorps VISTA volunteer with the Appalachian Coal Country Watershed Team. She put her Secondary Science Education degree partially to work writing curriculum, serving as the unofficial sustainability coordinator at the local university, partnering with environmental groups working on all kinds of coal mining issues, and learning birding and mandolin playing tips from her neighbors. She then spent a couple years doing environmental education and community outreach near Milwaukee, WI before coming to UM. While she misses mucking through ponds with middle schoolers (sometimes), she’s looking forward to bringing together people of all ages to solve local environmental challenges after graduation.