My name is Matt, and I am currently a graduate student in a Professional Science Master’s Program for Environmental Management and Sustainability. I just completed my first year at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, where I spent the time researching community gardens, as well as taking classes in Ecology and Project Management. The other 16 members of the cohort and I will be traveling to Angers, France for the upcoming spring 2015 semester. Here, we will complete the last of our required classes in environmental science at the Université catholique de l’Ouest (UCO). Following this semester, we will all find separate internships with the goal of conducting some type of research project relating to environmental sustainability anywhere in the world. The internship needs to be completed within 6 month of finishing our classes in Angers, and it must be defended during a presentation in August 2016 to faculty at both institutions to receive the joint degree from the St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas and the Université catholique de l’Ouest in Angers, France.
Though I am currently living in Austin, Texas, I am from Belle Harbor, a neighborhood of about 8,000 people in Rockaway Park, Queens, New York. The peninsula is home to over 100,000 residents and one of the largest urban beach in the United States, which is facing the Atlantic Ocean. Nonetheless, the town is a small haven inside the urban world, where the notion of quietness still exists. With the beach just three streets down from my house, it was only natural that I was fascinated by the sea. In fact, I attribute much of my future interest in the environment to living so close to something so inspiring and powerful. The ocean provided me with some of the most profound events in my life.
Today, with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Environmental Studies from SUNY Binghamton University, and my first year of graduate school complete, my passions include the environment, food and writing. This connection between food and the environment might sound strange to those who may not be aware of food’s role in many of the environmental and social problems we see in our society, but the production and consumption of food is extremely costly on our natural world. There are, however, an extraordinary amount of innovative sustainable farming techniques that I am excited about because they are bringing us towards a more environmentally friendly way of growing our food. Instead of contributing negatively to the environment, we have the opportunity to transform agriculture into a system that contributes positively to its surrounding ecosystems while producing highly nutritious food in an equitable way for people and the planet.
Writing has been a creative outlet for since high school, so I am starting this blog, Sustainable Future through Food, to combine my two passions: food and writing. The environment is heavily impacted by the way we produce and consume our food, and I will be using this blog to argue for a more sustainable food economy through innovation and local food production.