When my summer internship with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) Water Resources Program was canceled due to COVID-19, I was extremely disappointed. I had been looking forward to working with the RCE all year, and it seemed I had lost a great opportunity to explore green infrastructure—integrating man-made structures with natural landscapes, organisms, and processes to improve climate resilience and ecosystem health.
Fortunately, I was given a second chance when the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) selected me to present at their virtual 2020 Low-Carbon Conference this summer. My poster, “Building a Better Future: How Big 10 Universities are Implementing Green Infrastructure,” investigates how schools are developing holistic solutions to environmental problems, including water pollution, poor air quality, and biodiversity loss. I enjoyed displaying my work, answering questions, and viewing other projects. Participating in the conference connected me with research fellows from across the country who share my passion for environmental sciences, and it introduced me to fascinating new topics.
This experience has taught me to continue seeking opportunities regardless of the circumstances. The pandemic has not stopped me from pursuing my goals of safeguarding the planet and inspiring others to do the same. I want to thank Professor Nirav Patel and the Honors College for their support and encouragement and express my deep gratitude to the AESS for allowing me to share my research.
Morgan is a bioenvironmental engineering major.