DENIN Student Programs Committee members (from left to right) Kevin Schmidt, Katherine Adami, Becky Bronstein, Emily Baumback, Rosalina Gonzalez, Amelia Snelling and Daniel Schwam. Lindsay McNamara and Tyler Yoder were not available for the photograph.

DENIN student initiative

DENIN establishes Student Programs Committee to help plan student-targeted environmental events

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2:19 p.m., Jan. 9, 2012--The Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) at the University of Delaware has selected nine undergraduate and graduate students to serve on its Student Programs Committee, a team charged with facilitating student involvement in DENIN’s environmental mission. 

The Student Programs Committee members will serve as ambassadors, representing DENIN at campus-wide events; a focus group, providing input to DENIN staff about what students are interested in and concerned about; and event planners, carrying out events for students that further the educational objectives of DENIN.

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Committee members are also charged with being promoters, assisting in supporting DENIN events, especially to the student population, and activists, helping to create a more sustainable campus by communicating scientific information effectively.

The committee includes representatives ranging from freshmen to doctoral students from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, the College of Agricultural and Natural Resources and the College of Engineering.

The Student Programs Committee is led by the student intern for both DENIN and the Center for Science, Ethics and Public Policy (SEPP), senior Lindsay McNamara. McNamara is the former president of UD’s Students for the Environment (S4E) and currently serves as the undergraduate representative on the UD Sustainability Task Force Executive Council. She is an environmental studies major in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.

Senior Katherine Adami is also pursuing a degree in environmental studies and is a member of UD’s Students for the Environment. During summer 2011, Adami was a research assistant on a shad restoration project through Water Resources Agency, a program unit of the Institute for Public Administration in the School of Public Policy and Administration. Another environmental studies major, Tyler Yoder, just finished his last semester as an associate in arts student in Wilmington and is an active musician and artist in the local area.  

Freshman Becky Bronstein, sophomore Amelia Snelling and junior Kevin Schmidt are all studying environmental science in the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment. Although she is only a freshman, Bronstein is already very involved on campus. She is a senator in the Student Government Association, where she serves as the Sustainability Initiatives chair for the University Affairs and Proposal Review committees.  

Snelling has interned for the Massachusetts Audubon Society at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary and the Earth Day Network, an environmental nonprofit agency. For the last five years, Schmidt has volunteered at the National Aquarium in Baltimore promoting sustainable practices. He has also participated in undergraduate research through Delaware EPSCoR where he worked with other researchers to observe the effects of forest fragmentation on wildlife and ecology.

A doctoral student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UD, Rosalina Gonzalez served on the Sustainability Task Force’s Communications and Marketing and Sustainability Fund Working Groups.  

Emily Baumbach, a junior studying natural resource management in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, has been a camp counselor for UD’s TIDE (Taking Interest in Delaware’s Estuaries) program. She has also been an active volunteer at the Delaware Nature Conservancy’s forest restoration site located at Milford Neck Preserve.  

Sophomore Daniel Schwam, pursuing a degree in economics in the Lerner College of Business and Economics, is a resident assistant and assistant director of his complex’s Green Team. Schwam also serves as a member of the Residence Life Environmental Sustainability Committee. 

The nine members of the DENIN Student Programs Committee will be looking into planning field trips and informational events, as well as, participating in citizen science and community service events. The committee is also interested in forming partnerships with other like-minded registered student organizations and community groups.

Those interested in more information about the committee or forming a partnership should contact Student Programs Committee chair, Lindsay McNamara.

Article by Lindsay McNamara

Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

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