Valentine Fagan

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I am currently a junior double majoring in Environmental Studies and Geodesign. A native of Boston, my multicultural mother raised me to be fluent in English, French, and German. After growing up in a highly diverse city, I attended high school in Boulder, Colorado before taking a gap year pre-USC.

Since my sophomore year of high school, environmental science has been at the forefront of my interests. After spending a summer conserving turtle species on a remote beach in Costa Rica, I knew that I could never truly stray away from the field. During my gap year, I traveled extensively and witnessed a variety of environmental issues across various ecosystems and socioeconomic regions. This experience sparked a desire to understand the issues that face us as a global community, and understand how every country's struggles and actions are intrinsically linked.

The ability to apply environmental sciences to an entirely new approach to the built human environment is what drew me to the Geodesign program. Never before had I thought about the spatial aspect of the conservation practices which I was studying or examining. Geodesign took my 2D approach to an incredibly complex issue, and added both dimensionality and context which I may not have found otherwise. Geodesign provides the structure for environmental studies, a softer and more nuanced science, to be effectively applied to the modern world. One of these linking concepts which the program brought to my attention is that of biomimicry. This critical intersection of my two fields exemplifies how we can turn to the natural environment for a better understanding of how to craft a more resilient society.

Through these, and so many other aspects of an environmentalist’s approach to Geodesign, I believe that we can make meaningful change for not only humanity, but for the creatures we share this planet with.

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