Posted August 30, 2012
Name: Alex Tougas
Class Year: 2014
Major(s)/Minor: Environmental Studies and Government Coordinate Major; Earth and Oceanographic Science Minor
Hometown: Wethersfield, CT
Leadership on campus: Class Council, Residential Life Proctor, Varsity Swimmer, Green Athletes Chairperson
Environmental Mission: First, I aim to educate people about sustainability so that they can incorporate it into their lives. Second, I aim to do outreach on campus in order to mobilize grassroots movements and attempt to influence environmental policy.
What piqued your interest in environmental studies and sustainability? I began to become interested when my town implemented single-stream recycling a few years ago. My first semester at Bowdoin, I took Environmental Studies 101 and became hooked on an interdisciplinary approach to solving environmental issues.
How have you been involved in sustainability efforts on campus? Together with Kristin Hanczor ’12, I founded an organization called Bowdoin Green Athletes, which aims to bridge athletics and sustainability. A poster highlighting our efforts is on display in the Athletic office. All athletic teams will be making sustainability pledges this coming semester, and we are participating in the EPA Game Day Challenge, a waste reduction effort for football games, at Bowdoin’s Homecoming Game.
What course or professor helped you to connect with sustainability on campus? ES 101, Intro to Environmental Studies (Dharni Vasudevan, DeWitt John, Larry Simon): This was an excellent introduction to environmental science, policy, and ethics.
ES 200, Biogeochemistry (Phil Camill): Phil presented us with a call to action in terms of using climate-change science to influence policy.
ES 263, Int’l Environmental Policy (Allen Springer): This course was a fascinating examination of the intersection of international law, diplomacy, and the environment.
How do you think you will remain involved in sustainability efforts after graduation? After graduation, I hope to work with my future employers and colleagues in order to make sustainability a priority for them. I would like to help influence environmental policy by working at the state or federal government level, and potentially get a Ph.D. in environmental policy in order to educate a new generation of students about sustainability.
How many items on the "50 Sustainable Things To Do Before You Graduate" list have you crossed off? 13. I’ve done: #1 (Stowe Inn won competing against its own prior residents), 5, 10, 12, 15, 20, 26, 39, 42, 43, 44, 45, and 49.
"Together with Kristin Hanczor ’12, I founded an organization called Bowdoin Green Athletes, which aims to bridge athletics and sustainability." -Alex Tougas '14