My name is Sam Warkentin and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Washington majoring in environmental studies. I am very excited to learn about similarities and differences in environmental policy and environmental management in Washington and British Columbia. These two separate jurisdictions have similar ecosystems but different governments, laws, and regulations. Taking courses that provide a perspective on these issues will broaden my knowledge of environmental issues and help me in my future career.
I am from Bainbridge Island, Washington, and have lived in the Pacific Northwest for most of my life. I was drawn to studying abroad at the University of Victoria, where the Environmental Studies Department has focuses on ethno-ecology, ecological restoration, and political ecology. This emphasis is different yet complementary to the focus of the Environmental Studies program at the University of Washington.
While I am looking forward to studying these topics next year, I am also very excited for the opportunity to explore Victoria and Vancouver Island. I can’t wait to hike, meet new people, and experience a culture at least somewhat different from what I am used to. In the United States, we don’t often study or even discuss the current events of Canada. Given the physical proximity of Washington State to the Canadian border, I feel it is important to understand Canadian culture on a deeper level. The opportunity to experience this culture for a full school year will be an amazing experience, and one I feel very fortunate to have in the year ahead!
The Corbett British Columbia-Washington International Exchange Program Fund provides an opportunity for undergraduate students at the University of Washington to spend two semesters at the University of British Columbia or University of Victoria; and for students from the University of British Columbia and University of Victoria to spend three quarters at the University of Washington.