WSKG Science Intern Highlight: Ethan Campbell

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Overlooking the highlands of Iceland, Photo: Ethan Campbell

WSKG welcomes Ethan Campbell, a Binghamton University student, into the education/science department for the fall of 2019. He will be learning science communication and the role of public media in our community. Below is an excerpt from Mr. Campbell.

I am currently a senior at Binghamton University, double majoring in economics and environmental studies. With my education, I hope to work on fighting climate change and environmental degradation. In the future, I would like to help educate others and work to make our society a more sustainable one. 

I found my love for the environment and science, originally by chance through an environmental policy class for my economics major. After chasing this thread, I soon began conducting research into local ecology. I have studied crow populations in Ithaca, specifically their demographic differences in the breeding seasons of 2016 through 2018. This was part of a decades long study into the effects of West Nile Virus on crow populations conducted at Binghamton University. My junior year, I investigated how effectively allegheny mound ants could detect pesticides, both organic and synthetic, in their food. These projects were important to me because they taught me the fragility of our environment and the role humanity plays in species selection, further stimulating my interests into the natural sciences.  

At Binghamton, I have been a speaker on the debate team, as well as the outreach coordinator and subsequently the president of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). These organizations have taught me valuable communication skills and the importance of public devotion, respectively. With NYPIRG, I helped to plan and volunteer in local food drives, river cleanups, and even ran a small claims court action center where I helped individuals in the greater triple cities area navigate the legal system. I have since internalized the importance of community contribution and interpersonal responsibility. 

This past summer, I had the opportunity to study in Iceland with the School for International Training. This six week program focused on resource economics and renewable energy technologies. I learned about the direction green technology is heading, and the roadblocks that prevent large-scale transition. Here, I also undertook a research project into Iceland’s electric vehicle potential. Specifically, I worked with Orka Náttúrunnar, Iceland’s largest geothermal power company, and several rental car

companies in order to uncover how these two parties, as well as the government, could transition rental car fleets to entirely electric vehicles, as tourism is the country’s largest industry and the nation aims for zero fossil fuel vehicles by 2030. I also fell in love with the country and its breathtaking landscapes, visiting places such as the divide between continents, the geologically juvenile Reykjanes peninsula, and the quietly captivating West Fjords.

Jökulsárlón lagoon in Vatnajökull National Park, a glacial lagoon with icebergs drifting out to sea. Photo: Ethan Campbell

I am excited for the future of this internship and my time with WSKG. I want to not only educate others and spread my love for science, but also to learn more about community engagement and the nuances of public media. I look forward to sharing my perspective with all eager to listen.

-Ethan Campbell, Science Intern