While a student at AUNE, ES environmental education graduate Katie Stoner coordinated the 10% Challenge service learning project with fellow student Sarah Harpster. The successful initiative helped four local businesses identify their energy consumption and reduce their energy emissions by up to ten percent. Katie and Sarah adopted the initiative as an AUNE Advocacy Clinic project. Katie is currently the assistant director for the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative in Ithaca, New York.
Why did you choose to study Environmental Education at Antioch?
“Throughout my life and my time at Antioch University New England, education has been an avenue for raising awareness, building community, creating change, and stirring things up. I not only believe that these tactics are key as we work toward a more sustainable and just world, but I also know that my personal gifts and skills are best utilized as an educator.”
What is the most exciting and/or fulfilling aspect of being in the Environmental Education field?
“The environmental education field constantly grows and changes; opportunities arise all the time and as an educator, I have been pleasantly surprised by some of the initiatives I’ve found myself working on. It’s a wonderful thing to connect with a curious student, community member, business owner, city official, etc. around an environmental issue and to cultivate excitement among others.”
What are you doing now that you are no longer at Antioch?
“The Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative is a local cross-sector coalition that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions eighty percent by 2050. Currently we are working to create a strategic plan for how this goal can be reached through energy audits, setting reduction goals/strategies, implementing energy efficiency projects, innovative renewable energy financing, and launching a community-wide education/communication campaign to increase awareness and participation.”
How did Antioch prepare you for what you’re doing now?
“My advisors, professors, and peers encouraged and supported me in pursuing my interests through a very hands-on approach. Most of the work I did at Antioch was within the context of the larger community. I constantly sought ways to make my efforts count in the community, to serve a greater purpose than simply my own academic pursuits.”