Meet Julie Ho: I've always been interested in the environment from an early age and have always loved immersing myself in nature, whether it be hiking through national parks or just helping out at the community garden. Growing up near lots of forests, agriculture, and a growing suburban setting in the Midwest, I have seen the surrounding forests cut down in order to make way for more urban development. While I understand the benefits provided by these new retailers, it saddens me when I see the woods that I used hike through be cut down for the sake of "progress." And so, I decided that I wanted to do something about deforestation and help people understand the consequences that come as a result of urbanization.
As an environmental studies major, I have learned a lot about the degradation of the environment, what groups are doing in order to ameliorate the situation and the technologies that have come as a result of innovation and progress. In order to supplement my knowledge on how urban lifestyles and agriculture impact the water and soil around us, I wanted to learn skills in how to keep track of these issues in an organized fashion.
After taking a geospatial mapping class, I learned about the GIS and Sustainability Sciences minor and decided that this would be the perfect addition to my degree. Picking up this minor has been an amazing and informative experience as I am learning how to catalogue data that we collect in the field and turn this data into useful analyses that will encourage action.
In the future, I hope to use my environmental knowledge and GIS skills in order to promote conservation in areas essential to the vitality of the surrounding regions, as well as plan for urban sprawl in a controlled and organized fashion. - Julie Ho