Posted on Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Carter Brown '15 is already applying what he's learning through his HWS education to his passion for the environment. This past winter break, he traveled to the Island School at Eleuthera in the Bahamas, helping to construct a window made of recycled bottles as part of a larger sustainable building project.
For Brown, who is a double major in environmental studies and biology, the winter break experience marked a return visit to the Island School, which is a community of teachers and students from around the world working together to explore sustainable practices. Brown previously had studied at the Island School during his sophomore year of high school.
"The creative process behind what eventually became the bottle wall was a process that took a period of about two years," Brown says. "Originally, the walls of the building were going to be built entirely out of recycled tires filled with sand, and were maybe half the size of what it is now."
The idea of using bottles in the window holes originated from Sam Kenworthy, the resource and facilities manager at Cape Eleuthera Institute, a facility that promotes a connection between people and the environment, and helps run the Island School's semester research program. Brown collaborated with Kenworthy on the design of the bottle windows.
The summer before his first year of college, Brown interned with the Bonefish and Flats ecology team at the Cape Eleuthera Institute.
"I never really realized that I could do anything productive with my interest in the outdoors until I attended the Island School," he says. "While there, I was shown that there were entire fields of study based solely around different aspects of the environment. The program that is taught there is heavily focused on the environment and sustainable living."
When Brown went back to Eleuthera over winter break, he was able to catch up with friends he had made during his time studying there, as well as work on the new building, to which his family has generously donated. During the recent visit, Brown helped to construct two panels. Students currently attending the Island School are working on the rest as a project.
Last summer, Brown worked on a project aimed at helping to restore Barnegat Bay in New Jersey to a cleaner, healthier environment. This upcoming summer, he'll work for the National Audubon Society's Project Puffin, which is restoring puffins to their natural habitat on islands off the coast of Maine.
"I was granted this privilege by Associate Professor of Biology Mark Deutschlander who accepted my application to be the one student that HWS sends to work for Project Puffin this year," Brown says.
A lifelong outdoor enthusiast, Brown says hopes to become a marine biologist after HWS and grad school. He says he grew up going to a camp in New Hampshire, which involved hiking, canoeing, and kayaking. He also enjoyed going to the ocean during family vacations in New Jersey.
Last summer, Brown traveled to Wales for three weeks on the Summer Environmental Education Program with Assistant Dean of Hobart College David Mapstone '93. He is excited to study abroad in Australia in the fall of 2013.
Brown is a member of the Chi Phi fraternity and runs its community service program along with Samuel Gordon '15, and plays on its intramural softball team. Brown is a tour guide for the Office of Admissions, a Pre-Orientation Adventure Program guide, and an EcoRep at HWS.