photo: Paul Darrow

Adaptable Environments

Sustainability week organizer Melissa Dubé looks to a greener future

By Suzanne Robicheau | spring 2014

Melissa Dubé is about to graduate with a degree that didn’t exist when she entered Saint Mary’s in 2010.

“I had already finished my first year when Saint Mary’s introduced the School of the Environment and the Bachelor of Environmental Studies,” says Dubé. “Fortunately, the timing still worked, and I was able to make the switch and complete my Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree in four years.”

Dubé enjoys the School of the Environment’s small class sizes and community atmosphere, and appreciates the opportunity to pursue her interest in food-related issues such as community gardening, slow food, and food security. As part of her program, she took a leadership role in organizing Saint Mary’s 2014 Sustainability Week, working with classmates to turn the Loyola Conference Hall into a one-day farmers’ market, complete with vendors, buyers, and live music.

“We had a great turnout and the energy and excitement were high,” she says. “There was lots of support from students, staff and faculty. Some people even expressed an interest in having a farmer’s market as a regular event.”

A member of the Saint Mary’s University Garden Society, and Treasurer for the SMU Community Garden Co-op, she finds it inspiring to see first year students enter the School of the Environment and immerse themselves in programs like Environmental Studies, Environmental Science and Geography.

“The degrees we offer focus on exploring ideas and solutions to our environmental challenges,” says Dr. Tony Charles, Director of the School of the Environment and Dubé’s Environmental Science professor. “The students in these programs will leave Saint Mary’s with the skills to build sustainability in Nova Scotian communities and around the world.”

Dubé credits Sustainability Week with inspiring positive environmental change and involving the University community in reducing Saint Mary’s ecological footprint. “It’s also a great way,” she says, “to showcase the things we’re passionate about on this campus.”

Campus Notes: “I give because I believe in Saint Mary’s University.”

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