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Environmentalist Emily Conrad '11 is her generation's 'Green Queen'

Environmental studies major Emily Conrad '11 is passionate about the environment, and she is using every avenue available to share her passion with the Connecticut College community and the world at large. Her latest undertaking is co-producing a film that documents the 2009 Climate Ride, a 300-mile bike ride to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change. Conrad followed the 200 'Climate Riders' as they made their way from New York City to Washington D.C. Sept. 26 - 30.

"The purpose of the documentary is not to make a political statement, but to inform people. My co-producer, Sven Skarie, and I interview several riders from all walks of life who share their perspectives and tips on how people can positively impact the climate," Conrad said.

Conrad is in process of adding educational content and editing the film, which will debut this winter. On the Connecticut College campus, Conrad is an active environmental leader. She has been the co-president of the Renewable Energy Club since her freshman year, and is a representative of the Environmental Model Committee, a committee made up of students, faculty and staff that is responsible for developing programs and policies that integrate environmental sustainability into all aspects of campus life. She also was the student liaison for the College's preparation for a third-party environmental sustainability audit, commissioned last fall to assess the College's environmental initiatives and provide recommendations to advance sustainability on campus. She played an integral part by helping to collect data around campus.

Her work on campus turned into an internship at Woodard and Curran, the environmental consulting firm that conducted the College's audit. At Woodard and Curran, she developed climate action plans for other colleges and universities. Sponsored by Woodard and Curran and Connecticut College, Conrad attended this summer's American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment's Climate Leadership Summit, an annual conference that provides information on how to fund, support and transition to climate neutrality.

"At the conference, I learned about various strategies for funding sustainability projects and initiatives, instituting Climate Action Plans and integrating sustainability programs into curricula," she said. "I also had the chance to talk with college presidents and administrators from all over the country about how they are integrating sustainability into their institutions."

Conrad says Connecticut College has made great strides toward sustainability and that the College's commitment to shared governance makes it easy for students to get involved.

"Connecticut College made it easy for me to pursue my interests, and has been extremely supportive of my green initiatives," Conrad said. "Through all of my experiences, I gained knowledge that I can apply to my future career as a sustainability consultant."

December 30, 2009