Siiri Bigalke goes to Rio for the Earth Summit

18 Jun

-Siiri Bigalke-

I am a student at Smith College studying Government and Environmental Science & Policy. Growing up in Minnesota I developed a love for my natural environment and a deep appreciation for those working to preserve its diversity and integrity. I was fortunate enough to channel this passion into the group Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota (or YEA! MN), a student led environmental network sponsored by the Will Steger Foundation and the Alliance for Sustainability. I joined this group as a freshman and later served as co-chair for two years. During my time with YEA! I was offered numerous invaluable experiences, involving work with environmental policy on both the state and national level. Experiences such as lobbying at both the Minnesota Senate, House of Representatives, and at the offices of my national congressional representatives as well as interning with Governor Mark Dayton has fueled my interest in both government and environmental science. My involvement with Rio+20 has provided an exciting opportunity to experience how international policy  and the UN system plays out firsthand.

This past year at Smith College I led our student initiated-environmental organization, Green Team, in which I worked directly under the Center for the Environment, Ecological Design, and Sustainability. You can check out our organization and the campaigns and events we initiated this year on our Facebook page : facebook.com/SmithCollegeGreenTeam.

I look forward to attending Rio and working with the Major Group for Children and Youth so that I can in turn relay the issues and outcomes of the Earth Summit to students at Smith, the larger Five College community, as well as the general population of Youth in the US who will be affected by this conference for decades to come. I hope that I can do my part to (as the slogan of the conference states) do my part to ensure “The Future We Want”.

Siiri Bigalke ’15

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