Please comment on this post with a brief introduction of yourself.  Include:

  • Your major (or potential major(s) if you have not yet declared)
  • A description of your favorite place
  • What interests you about this course, why you chose to take it

18 thoughts on “Introductions

  1. Jessica Appelson

    My name is Jessica Appelson and I am a Junior Neuroscience major. My favorite place is Lake Khovsgol in Mongolia. It is by far the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. It’s the second biggest freshwater lake in Asia, only smaller than Lake Baikal in Russia, and holds 0.4% of the world’s fresh water. I know that may seem like a very small amount but it is already being seriously contaminated by an increase in tourism and the resulting population increase. This lake is one of the reasons I wanted to take this class. While I was visiting the lake this past fall, learning about the Mongolian environment, and staying in one of the very tourist camps that is part of the pollution problem, I thought a lot about the interaction between the people of the area and this beautiful lake, which they all but worship. The relationship between the lake and the local Mongolians is filled with contradictions. The more the lake is preserved, the more tourism increases and people populate the area. The more tourism increases, the more the lake and it’s surrounding area are polluted. I want to take this class because this and other experiences I had in Mongolia lead me to become very interested in the relationship people have with their environment.

  2. Julia Favorito

    Hi I’m Julia Favorito. I am a freshmen so my major is undecided. My favorite place is Venice, Italy. I am taking this class because I am considering geology or geography as possible majors.

  3. Olivia Wold

    My name is Olivia Wold, I’m a freshman and have not yet declared a major. Potential majors include English, Political Science, or History. I am also interested in the Global Health minor.

    My favorite place is my hometown- Mercer Island, Washington. Although Mercer Island is similar in some ways to many other suburbs, it’s location in Lake Washington, beautiful views of the water, mountains, and Seattle, and plenty of evergreens make it unique (especially from the landscape of New England).

    The relationship between people and the environment in which they live seems complex and intriguing. I want to learn more about this relationship from a geographical perspective and also reflect on my personal interactions with the environment.

  4. Emily Auran

    I’m Emily Auran.
    I haven’t declared a major yet but I’m considering majoring in Environmental Studies.
    One of my favorite places is The Mountain School in Vershire, Vermont, where I spent a semester during my junior year of high school.
    I’ve taken a lot of classes that focus on how we shape and influence the environment, but I’ve never explicitly studied how our environment affects us. I’m excited to start thinking from that point of view in this class. I’ve also never taken a geography class, so I thought I’d try it out.

  5. John Allard

    Hi, I’m Jack Allard

    I am a freshman, so I haven’t decided my major yet, but I am interested in Economics and History.

    My favorite place is my grandparents house in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

    I chose this class because I recently took a class about Class issues and the environment and this made me more interested in environmental issues and how they are influenced by humans.

  6. Maya Najarian

    I am Maya Najarian, and I am currently undeclared but I am shooting for a joint major in Environmental Studies and Physics.

    My favorite place is Park City, Utah because it reminds me of Christmas, skiing, and family. I often go shopping on Main Street and ski at the many nearby ski resorts.

    I took this course because I find the subject very interesting. I want to explore all of the different aspects that human interact with the environment, and vice versa. I am also taking Natural Science and the Environment and I thought both courses would work well together.

  7. Sarah Elliott

    My name is Sarah Elliott, and I’m thinking of a joint architectural/environmental studies major.

    My favorite place is Downeast Maine.

    I decided to take this course because architecture is essentially about controlling how people interact with or experience the environment on a small scale and I thought this course would bring an interesting perspective to that aspect of design.

  8. Hai Do


    I’m Hai.

    I’m a freshman and have not declared my major. However, what I have in mind right now are Economics and Dance.

    So far, my favorite place is Flekke, Norway. It’s a tiny town on the west coast of Norway with less than 100 inhabitants and about 250 people from my high school. It’s a gorgeous place with mountains and fjords. Being surrounded by concrete buildings and fake plants for most of my life, it was the first place where I can feel my connection with nature.

    I chose this class completely based on personal interest and curiosity. I hope to gain more knowledge about the place of human in relationship with environment. I hope that I will be able to approach the topic from different perspectives. But of course, if possible, I want to use an economist’s point of view.

    See you in class tomorrow!!!

  9. Katherine Michels

    Hello, I’m Katie.
    I’m a Freshman Feb, and quite undecided as to what I’d like to major in. Today, I’m leaning towards something in either the sciences or environmental studies.
    There are so many beautiful places in the world, but one of my favorites is the Olympic Peninsula, out in Washington State. It is so lush, and beautiful, and mysterious, and mystical. A wonderful place to explore.
    I’m taking this course because I am fascinated by place, and how it informs ones perspectives. I hope to learn more about the interactions between place and person.

  10. Clifton Bueno de Mesquita

    1. I’m planning on majoring in Environmental Studies, with a focus in either bio, chem, geology or geography.
    2. I love so many places, especially in the mountains. If I had to pick one I’d probably say Canadian Glacier National Park, British Columbia.
    3. I am interested in learning more about the dynamic relationship between humans and the environment.

  11. Onelissa Martinez

    I’m Onelissa Martinez, people call me Onne.

    As of now I am an Environmental Studies Major with a focus in Religion/Philosophy.

    I chose this course because I wanted to learn about ‘our interactions with the environment’. How people behave in certain environments (for ex: a forest vs. an urban environment) whether it is better in certain places and why…

  12. Brian Isbell

    My name is Brian, and I’m a geography major with minor foci in both environmental studies and geology.

    I cannot say I have a single favorite place, for there are so many out there that come to memory; however, I can say that if I did have a favorite location, it would be somewhere much warmer than here in Vermont!!

    I chose to take this course out of pure interest in further understanding spatial relationships between people and those regions, places, etc. which we chose to live and/or visit. I am very much interested in landscape change over time…or even a lack thereof in some cases. My personal interests in geography include transportation, land development (and associated environmental consequences or impacts), as well as urban-exurban patterns and interactions from both an historic and a modern standpoint.

  13. Sierra Young

    I’m Sierra Young.

    I’m a joint Environmental Studies/Geography major.

    My favorite place in the world is Glacier National Park, and specifically the spot where you come through the Ptarmigan Tunnel and look down to Lake Elizabeth, turqoise blue from glacial till, and the Belly River Basin.

    I am interested in this course because I am interested in working for the Park Service, which deals with human interaction with the environment. The field of interpretation also focuses on helping visitors understand and feel how the environment affects them.

  14. Michael Wysota

    Michael Wysota

    1. Im only a freshman so I haven’t declared yet, but Im hoping to be a Molecular Biology/Biochemistry major.
    2. Mount Snow Vermont
    3. The class sounded interesting, and I just wanted to see what it was about.

  15. Motlatsi Nkhahle

    I am Motlatsi Nkhahle

    1.) I haven’t declared my major yet but it is most likely to be Linguistics or Film and Media Culture
    2.) My favourite place is Earth, I am happy to be alive
    3.)I want to gain insight into how human being interact with my favourite place

  16. Aseem Mulji

    I’m Aseem.
    1) Geography
    2) my beanbag or Bryce Canyon
    3) H-E interactions is an interesting and important topic. And I need another geography elective.

  17. Peter Hirsch

    Peter Hirsch
    1.) Arch and Environmental Studies major
    2.) Banff, Canada
    3.) Class sounded interesting coming from the perspective of design where I have to create spaces that interact with both humans and the environment.

  18. Tracy Kugler Post author

    My name is Tracy Kugler, and I am the instructor for this course. I have degrees in Theater (BA, concentration in stage management and scenic design) and Systems Engineering (BS and MS, concentration in systems modeling and analysis) from Case Western Reserve University. I am also on the brink of completing my PhD in Geography from Oregon State University.

    My favorite place is the Eldred Theater, on the campus of Case Western. As a theater major, I spent countless hours in Eldred for classes, rehearsals, performances, and just hanging out.

    As with all theaters, there is something magical about the building, and especially the performance spaces. To paraphrase Shakespeare, a stage is all the world. Depending on the script and the story, the stage can “be” anywhere. When the theater is empty and still, it retains that sense of potential. The potential to travel in space and time, and the potential to open into remarkable human stories and emotions.

    Eldred also has its own wealth of character beyond that of simply being a theater. The building looks a bit like an old church. It has been added on to at least twice in its history and has a somewhat hodgepodge appearance of contrasting construction styles. The interior can strike a visitor as something of a maze. Classrooms, offices, performance spaces, storage, and other facilities seem to be tucked into odd corners throughout the building. There are five different entrances on four different levels. Two separate stair cases and an elevator all provide access to different parts of the building and different half levels. As a stage manager, I had reasons to be in all of the various spaces, and gained a mastery of them and all the different ways to get from one to another that only a few other people had. Doing so gave me a sense of belonging and something akin to companionship with the building itself.

    The space is old and in need of technical improvements. There has been talk for many years of building a new performing arts center for the campus. In many ways, such a center would be an improvement and a boon for the theater department. But I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one who would be sad to see Eldred go.

    I chose to design a course on the topic of human-environment interactions because I am intrigued by both the ways people affect the environment and the ways people are influenced by the environment. These interactions form the basis of much of my research. I am fascinated by the richness of the many aspects of such interactions, touching on scientific, political, psychological, and ethical considerations. Given the richness of the topic, I am looking forward to exploring it with you and learning from all the various perspectives you each bring.

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