Hi, my name is Ericka Nimbley, and I am the Editorial Intern for Alliance. I am an Environmental Studies and Government & Law double major. I have had the privilege of having an education on environmental issues since my freshman year of high school. I have named this blog Nature Nook as a place for me to share my experiences on environmental education.
In every one of my courses, the word ‘interdisciplinary’ is repeatedly spoken, yet somehow unheard. Within the slideshow presented every first day of class, one slide is always dedicated to defining the word interdisciplinary. When asked to be defined by students, ‘connected, ‘two or more,’ and ‘different fields’ are the buzzwords.
In my first year, it was a requirement to take Intro to Economics, and in every class, I would question why I, an Environmental Studies major, had to take a class focused on economics. For 15 weeks, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I dreaded my 50-minute lecture on the Principles of Economics. My dislike for the course came from my inability to draw supply and demand shifts on graphs rather than a dislike of economics as a whole. The only time I recognized the terms being discussed in class was when we began to learn about fiscal and monetary policies. My Intro to U.S. Politics course touched base on the importance of these policies in politics. That was the first time economics didn’t feel like a second language to me. It wasn’t until the following year, in my Environmental Policy class, when I heard the word ‘fiscal policy’ for a third time that I began to understand the importance of the required course.
The word ‘interdisciplinary’ goes unheard when students like myself neglect to apply our knowledge from course to course. More often now, I try to tie my understanding of the environment into differing courses throughout my college career. To my surprise, finding a connection between an environmental issue and a ‘non-related’ course has been exceedingly easy. Ridding of the disconnect between interdisciplinary studies and academics will only advance individuals’ career paths. In the case of environmental education, lacking the ability to form a connection to the environment will only dampen one’s career opportunities in any field.