Kathleen originally came to IU for the Environmental and Sustainability Studies program, because it incorporated ecological ideas into sustainability in a way she didn’t see in other university programs. She discovered the Geography department during her freshman year while taking the course Environmental Change: The End of the World as We Know It. After taking more courses, Kathleen realized she felt academically at home in Geography. All of subfields in Geography appealed to her, but she ultimately settled on Development and Justice.
Kathleen is currently an undergraduate research assistant in the Critical Food Studies with Dan Knudsen and Angela Babb. She works on identifying service deserts in 11 Indiana counties. She hopes to present the results of her research at the 2019 AAG Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.
While much of her work within the department has focused on the social side of the discipline, outside of the department Kathleen is an ardent naturalist. She has spent her summers working in the parks of Alaska: as a forest ranger in the Chugach National Forest, as an intern for the National Park Service and the Alaska Sea Life Center, and as an environmental educator at the Kenai Fjords National Park. In Indiana, she has also spent time volunteering with the Department of Natural Resources working in local fisheries.
After she finishes her degree, she hopes to continue on to graduate school, but may take a short break in between. She is considering a graduate degree within the IU Geography department or joining the University of Washington’s Marine Affairs program.