bikinginBonn2Hello! I’m Meggie Stewart, a fourth year student at Emory studying environmental science and Arabic. Growing up, I lived in a coastal town in Connecticut.  My first taste of environmental injustice came in high school, when my social studies class was asked to form an argument for or against building new condominiums with septic tanks which would be close to the wetlands in our town, posing a risk of contaminating the wetland ecosystem.  Despite disagreements from conservationists, the building project went ahead. I had never heard of an environmental impact assessment or considered that we as humans often willingly harm the very environment which sustains us.

Over my time at Emory, I have begun to take my environmental interests in new directions. My interests include environmental justice, sustainable agriculture, and all things outdoorsy. These passions led me to my internship with Global Growers, a non-profit which strengthens the food system in Atlanta by giving refugees land to farm on and helping them sell their produce to local restaurants and farmers markets.  The internship as well as subsequent classes I’ve taken have increased my interest in using visual media such as photos and videos to explain and illustrate concepts in sustainability.

My interest in environmental justice grew when I studied abroad at the University of Melbourne in Australia.  I participated in a 5-day citizen science camp out run by the Goongerah Environmental Center Office (GECO), an organization which protects the high conservation value, temperate rainforests of Victoria from logging. In order to do so, at the citizen science camp we did carbon accounting, and searched for endangered species using wildlife cameras and spotlighting, in order to prove the illegality of logging in those areas. Then, the lawyers who work for GECO use the evidence they’ve gathered to fight lagging companies in court. Seeing the clear-cut former rainforests, participating in the evidence collection, and hearing the passion that these lawyers and environmentalists have for GECO’s mission was inspirational.

Various experiences and my coursework at Emory have shaped who I am as a person and my goals for the future. I strive to always remain mindful of the environment in my everyday life. After graduation, I plan to use my skills to empower others to take climate change action which they are proud of and which makes a difference.

On this website, I’ll be posting content about environmental issues, my journey to COP23, and additional content for my class in fall 2017, Climate Change and Society.