“As I left, they made me promise I’d tell others about this issue.”
That’s what Emily Jones (E&H Class of 2018) says about a recent research project done in collaboration with a community in Costa Rica that has been impacted by neighboring pineapple plantations.
“People think of Costa Rica as this lush garden spot in the world…and it is! But they’re also one of the world’s biggest consumers of pesticides.”
Emily is working toward a master’s degree in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development. It’s a dual degree program that has her splitting time between American University in Washington DC and the University for Peace in Costa Rica (established by the United Nation in 1980).
Emily was an environmental studies and civic innovations double major at Emory & Henry, and her senior project was focused on inter-generational environmental education in the region around Emory. She organized volunteers from more than 8 agencies who followed her lead to plan events for kids and their elders – exploring topics like birding, water quality, and gardening.
Her work in Costa Rica has given her a look not only at the environmental impact of pesticides, but also on the social justice ramifications. “The people who work in these fields are getting really sick from prolonged exposure to harsh chemicals – but there isn’t much support for their health care. And there aren’t a lot of alternative jobs.”
Emily said residents who work in this industry are frustrated about what to do, and frustrated that people don’t really know what they’re dealing with; so they asked Emily to share their story with friends in the U.S.
Emily will finish up her master’s degree in 2020 and will use what she’s learning to tackle this and other environmental conundrums. “Emory & Henry professors like Ed Davis, Travis Proffitt, Tal Stanley, and Laura Hainsworth emboldened my desire to continuously be learning. They gave me the knowledge and boost in confidence that is taking me and my degrees around the world.”
“Emory & Henry professors like Ed Davis, Travis Proffitt, Tal Stanley, and Laura Hainsworth emboldened my desire to continuously be learning. They gave me the knowledge and boost in confidence that is taking me and my degrees around the world.”
– Emily Jones
Class of 2018