My name is Hanna Meili, I am a first-year student in the Environment, Resources, and Sustainability program (Honours co-op) at the University of Waterloo and I live at St. Paul’s University College. My plan is to complete two minors, one in French and the other in Biology. I also want to fulfill the requirements for three diplomas: Environmental Assessment, Ecological Restoration and Rehabilitation, and Excellence in Geographic Information Systems. I have recently completed my second term, known as 2A. In my first term, I took a myriad of insightful and challenging courses such as ENVS 195: Introduction to Environmental Studies; ERS 100: Approaches: Environment, Resources, and Sustainability; ENVS 178: Environmental Applications of Data Management and Statistics. For my electives, I took FR 152: Basic French 2 and INDEV 100: Introduction to International Development. My courses to date have been fascinating as my professors were super engaging even with the online learning due to covid-19, and the course material was thought provoking and very relevant to the local and global socio-ecological problems that plague society and the environment.
This semester I expanded my breadth of knowledge by exploring the new required courses for my second term of my first year (2A) ERS 101: Approaches: Environment, Resources, and Sustainability; ERS 102: Sustainability and the Really Long View; and ENVS 200: Field Ecology. I chose to improve my proficiency in French and took FR 192A: French Language 1: Module 1 as an elective. I also volunteered with the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, and ran events as a part of student council at St. Paul’s University College.
I am very happy with my choice to accept my offer to the SERS undergraduate degree program at the University of Waterloo as it has allowed me to put my passion for protecting the environment for the current generation and future generations into practice, in a meaningful way; whilst, interacting with compelling professors and friendly peers. I learned everything from biodiversity loss to environmental racism to looking at the relationship between carbon dioxide levels and the economy in a statistical format. With this knowledge and the acquired skills thereof, which will be further developed throughout my undergraduate degree, I feel prepared to eventually take on a master’s degree (e.g., The Master of Environmental Studies (MES)) at the University of Waterloo), a dream job such as working for Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and/or the United Nations Environmental Programme. I may become an ecologist, a policymaker, or a marine biologist – the opportunities are endless and incredible. The courses, networking opportunities (e.g., ENVconnect), and co-op's that I take through the ERS program will allow me to attain my goals and shape the transformation I want to see in the world.