Josh Carter, Class of 2016

I’m from Juneau, Alaska. No, I cannot see Russia from my house. No, I don't live in an igloo. No, I have not eaten whale blubber. Yes, I have wrestled a polar bear with my bare hands and won.

Josh Carter

What drew me to the MES degree at Evergreen was mostly the interdisciplinary nature of the program, which allows me to combine my favorite sciences with my passion for ecological justice, but also the practicality of environmental studies when compared to other "pure science" fields. Research is awesome, but research that I can also use to fix problems is even better. Also, Evergreen seemed like an ideal college for me. Other institutions have MES degrees, but Evergreen seems like a place where the entire college seems infused with the environmental studies ethos.

What do I hope to gain from the program? Fame. Fortune. Glory. I’d also like to gain the qualifications and knowledge necessary to tackle some of the issues I'm interested in, such as sustainable food production and renewable energy and many others. I’m hoping the program helps me narrow down my interests into a small number of issues I can really focus on solving.

My main fields of interest are sociology and biology. I like working with plants, and I believe they hold the solution to many of our world’s problems. But my interests are pretty broad; if I can be a polymath I will be.

Since I’m from the Pacific Northwest, it should go without saying that I enjoy hiking, kayaking, and cross-country skiing, but I also have a wide range of other hobbies. I’m a big DIYer and make my own soaps, beer, wine, bread, jam, and more! I’m also an avid bookworm; my goal right now is to read every Man Booker Prize winning book and to find a stylistic and spiritual successor to Raymond Chandler (since I’ve already read all of his stuff). Some of my more geeky interests include board games and Dungeons & Dragons. Don’t laugh. You’d love it if you’d just give it a chance. I also spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about experiments and studies I’d like to perform, planning my future tiny house homestead (there will be ducks and there will be goats), and wondering how I should cook my broccoli.

After earning my MES degree, I see myself sleeping. A lot.

Calvin & Hobbes has been an inspiration in my life. I know it’s not a person. It’s a comic strip. A comic strip I read often and eagerly as a child and which taught me to, um, not trust authority blindly (to put it mildly) and to see possibilities in the outside world, not just its realities. In fact, sometimes I don’t see realities at all. As far as actual people go, a number of my undergraduate professors have inspired me in ways too numerous to list, and without them I would not be here today.

There are several favorite parts about being in Olympia that I love. First, the people are liberal, open-minded, and hip. I am only two of those things. Guess which ones (and no, I don’t have a Twitter)! Second, the familiarity. Olympia is surprisingly similar to Juneau in terms of climate and greenery, although it rains significantly more in Juneau, so it’s nice to have all this warm and dry weather. This has made the transition much easier. And lastly, the availability of fresh, locally grown food is quite amazing. The emphasis on sustainable living here is very refreshing.