Hi! My name is Cate and I am a sophomore currently majoring in environmental studies and minoring in sustainability at the George Washington University. I was born in Australia and actually grew up on the island of Samoa, but my parents are from Denmark and England.
From a young age, I have been incredibly lucky to have traveled far and wide, getting to learn from a diverse set of experiences and people along the way. This also instilled my deep love and fascination for the natural world, particularly for animals.
In high school, at the United Nations International School in New York City, my interest and knowledge about the environment flourished. We were very much involved with current global issues, climate action being one topic that was particularly emphasized, along with many of the other UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Both my parents have studied, and now work passionately in the fields of environmental protection: my dad through his work as a climate change specialist, and my mom as a sustainable tourism specialist.
My dad’s job for the UNDP pulled him to all corners of the globe, living abroad in places from Slovakia to South Africa, and me and my brother would follow him during our breaks in school whenever we could. Experiencing first-hand the collide between nature’s purest wonders and some of the world’s richest cultures, equipped me with a firm mindset: that these issues are not mutually exclusive. If we want to protect the environment, the animals, the natural systems, we need to work with people. How can we even begin trying to protect endangered lands or species, if the people around them are struggling to survive? From the top of abandoned monasteries in Northern India, to critically endangered Sumatran orangutans, we all share the same planet, one that I know is worth saving.
So after I graduate, I hope to contribute valuable work to the fields of wildlife conservation and environmental education— to help better the planet, people, and its animals.
Fun fact: Earlier this year, I met and spoke with Jane Goodall over breakfast in Sierra Leone, and we talked for almost 45 minutes one-on-one!