G.E.M. Environmental is excited to share another new addition to our monthly blog series – Science Stories. Each month, we interview a STEM scholar, student, or community member and ask them things like why they believe the STEM fields are important, how they got started in their field, to what they would do if they hit the jackpot. We hope that our new blog series will inspire, introduce a variety of fields, and create new conversations.
In honor of National Parks Week 2020, we are happy to introduce you all to Barbara Nuzzi. Barbara worked at the Ashokan Environment Education Center in Olive Bridge, NY, as the Program Director. She also worked for state and national parks, as a guide and environmental educator. Her studies were mostly in environmental stewardship. She is currently retired but she loves to be an active volunteer throughout the community, including volunteer projects with GEM!
Why do you believe that the STEM fields are important?
Our natural resources are more vulnerable than ever before, mostly due to climate change. I feel there is also a great deal of ignorance when it comes to consumption and sustainable solutions. Education in managing soil, water, air, forests are essential at this time.
How and why did you get involved in the STEM fields?
My father was my mentor, and I spent a great deal of time with him and my brother's in nature. I have always had a curious mind, and enjoyed spending time in observation of animal behavior and structures in the natural world.
Can you describe another aspect of your life or career that is influenced or enriched by the STEM fields that people would find surprising?
I don't know if this would be surprising but "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson changed my life and the global environmental movement. Her book received great criticism when she wrote it in the 1960's, but I always felt that the science behind her findings was correct.
What inspires you in your current position/role?
Since I am now retired, I am inspired by all the younger generation that are taking up the scientific studies! We need you now more than ever!
Have you ever participated in an internship?
Yes, I participated twice with AmeriCorps and Student Conservation Association. I've always felt that it was the steppingstone to all my other endeavors. The value of the experience cannot be overstated.
What work experiences have been the most educational for you, and why?
I loved working with the archaeology teams in many different places. A subject I still find myself intrigued by.
What is something that people might be surprised to learn about you?
I am a vocalist, and love most types of music, and study guitar.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
Not recently, but back in the Americorps days, our group needed to paddle out to a small island for a service project only to find this entire small island was filled with poison ivy!
You won $10 million in the lotto. What would you do?
Environmental activism and especially encourage young women to study the sciences.
For more information on our National Parks please visit www.nps.gov.