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My name is Grayson Barke, and I’m currently pursuing a double major in English and Environmental Resource Management at SFU. While this may seem like an unusual degree combination, the path that has led me here seems very natural to me, no pun intended!
Growing up in Vancouver has given me the opportunity to spend lots of time outdoors, and come to appreciate and respect nature. As a child I developed a curiosity toward the natural world, and have been lucky enough to have people in my life who shared and encouraged this curiosity.
I've also always had a strong attraction to literature, and found the natural world was rich and alive in the words of writers such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Thoreau. These writers explore humanity's relationship with the natural world, and use the power of language to capture and illuminate nature's beauty.
When it came time to choose a university degree path, I was torn between the scientific study of nature through Biology, and the artistic appreciation of nature in English literature, so I ended up choosing both, not really knowing where these two disciplines would take me.
I finally had an ‘Ah Ha!’ moment during my Semester in Dialogue at City Studio. My team and I wanted to plant a learning garden in an orphaned space that focused on local pollinators, and we needed to communicate our belief in the value of our project to the City of Vancouver and its local communities. The work and red tape were difficult challenges throughout the project, and it made me realize there was a real need for people who not only understood environmental science, but could also effectively communicate with others about it.
Last Fall I heard about the Bachelor of Environment at SFU, and I knew I had found the next branch on my path. I’m excited by the interdisciplinary nature of this degree program, the variety of excellent co-op opportunities, and the fact that it will prepare me for the Faculty of Environment’s Masters Program in Ecological Restoration.