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Environmental science, alumni, convocation, student stories
Environmental science graduand takes passion for environmental protection to law school
Growing up surrounded by nature on the Sunshine Coast of B.C., Zoey Schutz was raised to be considerate of the world around her.
From a young age, she developed a deep connection with nature—and the urge to protect it. After high school, Zoey decided to travel and work for a couple of years before starting university. With her lifelong passion for learning about the environment, Zoey knew pursuing environmental science was the natural choice.
Now, as she wraps up her time at SFU, Zoey prepares to take her love of the environment to law school at the University of Victoria this fall, where she plans to pursue environmental and Indigenous law.
Pursuing law wasn’t always a part of Zoey’s plan. Despite feeling confident that her career path would inevitably lead to helping the environment in some way, she didn’t know exactly what that would look like for her.
Zoey credits the opportunity of doing hands-on work for her honours thesis and capstone course for opening her eyes to the endless career paths and allowing her “the chance to get a better feel for what I want in my future,” she says.
With her interest in ecology and climate science, Zoey joined Professor Chelsea Little’s research team, the Little Ecology Group, as a research assistant. There she had the opportunity to study the biodiversity of intermittent streams compared to perennial streams.
By her third year, despite enjoying the hands-on scientific work of her studies, she found herself being drawn to the policy side of environmental science. Taking courses like environmental law and environmental policy, Zoey noticed the ways in which those fields could allow her to combine her biggest passions: the environment, science, and social justice.
“I saw that a career in law could allow me to follow my environmental passion and utilize my scientific background, while also addressing the social justice issues I care about,” said Zoey.