UI Hosts Health, Science, & Sustainability Fair

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October 30, 2023
Students Met with Sustainability Organizations at the Fair

Story: Josie Boyle

On October 19th, the University of Iowa held the Health, Science, & Sustainability Fair in the Iowa Memorial Union’s International Ballroom. The fair featured 39 organizations eagerly searching for students passionate about paving the way to a sustainable future.

Blank Park Zoo was one of these organizations. Located in Des Moines, the zoo prioritizes hiring a wide range of students to work in their educational programs.

“When we heard about the sustainability fair, we knew it would fit in really well with our mission, which is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, research, and recreation,” says Jessica Schellhorn, the zoo’s education manager.

Another organization looking for students with a passion for environmental sustainability was the Confidence Learning Center. The center is located in Brainerd, Minnesota and provides outdoor educational experiences for people with cognitive and developmental disabilities. Bri Adams, a program leader at Confidence Learning Center, discussed the importance of careers in sustainability. “At our facility, we educate people about the importance of fostering the environment we’re in so we can continue to use it,” Adams said. She noted that the ability to work in collaborative team settings was another factor she took into consideration while talking with students at the fair.

Jenni Stacy-Adams, an academic advisor at the University of Iowa, was highlighting the Sustainability Certificate at the event, focusing on the ease of incorporating the certificate into any major. “Sustainability is important for every single person in our society, whether they take courses now or self-educate, we know that it’s an important issue to focus on,” she said. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Public Health, and the College of Education have each adopted a sustainability course requirement, meaning that students enrolled in these colleges are taking at least one course in this area before graduation.

The fair welcomed a range of students with various educational paths. Students were able to engage with numerous booths and learn about the opportunities available to them.

One of these students was Maddie Fitzgerald, a third-year Public Health major. She said she enjoyed talking with representatives from the organizations and exploring potential careers in sustainability. “Sustainability is important because of the current magnitude of the climate crisis. It will touch all aspects of health, public policy, and development, so I think it’s a great area to get experience in.”

After a great day of career exploration, the fair wrapped up around 6 p.m.

To learn more about the sustainability courses offered at the University of Iowa, visit the Office of Sustainability website.