Kelly Hurley


Resource Specialization Ecology, Conservation, and Environmental Justice
Region Specialization The Americas
International Experience(s) Directed Studies in Ecuador

“The GRS program allowed me to understand and address complex environmental issues from a holistic, multi-dimensional perspective.”

Why did you choose the GRS specialization that you did?

My GRS specialization is: Ecology, conservation, and environmental justice. I chose this focus because I see the deep interconnections between nature’s wellbeing and social wellbeing, and I am interested in protecting both. The GRS program fits me because it allows me to combine human rights and environmental sciences to understand and address complex environmental issues from a holistic, multi-dimensional perspective. My favourite part of this program is getting together with my fellow GRSers at Wednesday night class.

What was your international experience and what did you learn from it?

By participating in GRS Directed Studies for six months, I received credits for travelling and doing conservation internships in Ecuador. In the time that I was in Ecuador, I participated in bird population surveys, learned how to meditate, milked cows, slept in a canoe under the stars, collected data on carbon sequestration, climbed glacier capped volcanoes, assisted in reforestation, ate traditional Ecuadorian food, identified medicinal plants, got ten tick bites in one day, fished for Piranhas with a Huaorani tribe in the Amazon, completed a GIS Analysis, learned how to use a machete with ease, built a snowman at 5200 meters above sea level, acquired intestinal parasites, and improved my Spanish immensely! Each of these experiences was a deep learning moment for me academically, culturally and personally. GRS Directed Studies acknowledges the unconventional but inherent lessons in international travel. The GRS Directed Studies program allowed me to gain hands on skills and understand my specialization in a real-world context. On top of this, the fieldwork experience I have acquired is already showing its worth as I apply for summer jobs in my field.

One response to “Kelly Hurley”

  1. Klara Huebsch

    Sounds like such an amazing experience Kelly! I can’t wait to hear more about the development of your relationships with nature and locals in South America.

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