Featured Geographer

Kristin Novak

About Kristin:

Kristin NovakI am a senior Geography and International Relations major from a small town in eastern Massachusetts. When I came to Syracuse I knew nothing about the discipline of Geography beyond what I learned in middle school social studies, but taking Natural Environments and Environmental Ideas and Policy during my freshman year convinced me that I was meant to be a Geography major. I have always loved to travel and explore new places, I have a fascination with maps, and I was raised with a strong environmental conscience. Geography has given me the opportunity to gain a unique perspective on the world around me and has provided me with some of my most intellectually challenging, and rewarding, experiences at Syracuse.

I have been able to explore so many different areas through my coursework, but I have been especially drawn to the topics of sustainability and environmental justice. My passion for these issues is reflected in my choice of honors senior thesis topic: marine fisheries. The depletion of so many formerly abundant fisheries worldwide and the plight of those people who depend on them struck me as a little-talked-about but important issue of environmental justice. I am interested in the social, economic, and political processes that have lead to the collapse of fish populations and the impact on fishing communities in both industrialized countries and the developing world.

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I still don’t know for sure what I want to be when I “grow up” but I hope to work for social justice and/or environmental protection, probably in the non-profit sector. After graduation I am joining Teach For America to work towards educational equality as a social studies teacher in Connecticut. Once I have completed my two-year commitment, I hope to pursue a Masters degree, perhaps in Geography!