We are faced at present with an interesting dichotomy, we are at present the most aware and apprehensive about environmental impact and changes than we have ever been in history, yet we are developing and growing faster than we have in recent history.
The goal of my senior project, and in fact my educational trajectory within the Community, Environment, and Planning major, has been to explore how we as a society can live and grow more responsibly. Seattle is the paradigm of urban intersecting with natural environment, the areas incredibly diverse and important natural ecosystems are in a constant struggle with the drive to expand and grow. In my four years here at the University of Washington, it has become clear that there is a lack of appreciation for our natural surroundings, or even awareness of their state of decline. How is it that our University is home to one of the best Fisheries’ science schools in the world, located less than an hour from historic salmon fisheries, yet many of our students have never been face to face with the fangs of a spawning chum? How is it that we boast a top level environmental sciences program, with students who rarely leave the 634 acres of our urban campus? How can we expect to progress as a society, and develop in a manner which prioritizes sustainable interaction with the environment, if our Urban Citizens have neither concept nor connection with the natural world.