Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good

All Majors & Minors

Madison Moses

Class Year

2020

My Major/ Minor/ Campus Organizations

Environmental Studies / Biology / Student Researcher, Sustainability Farm Fellow, Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good Fellow, Center for Writing and Speaking Fellow, Secretary for Escape Velocity Dance Troupe, Ursinus College Dance Team

Hometown

Philadelphia, PA

What should matter to me?

The long-term health of the environment is important to me and, I believe, should be important to everyone. When I was 14 years old, a health scare made me question my lifestyle choices, specifically how I was eating. As I started eating cleaner, I started reading into the sourcing of my food and how food systems work around the world. It quickly became apparent to me that the way we eat matters to the health of the environment and therefore matters to me. Balancing the health of the environment with the health and sustenance of humans is dynamic, so it is important that scientists like myself continuously investigate things like human health, soil health, food quality, food access, and many more variables that can have serious impacts on the long-term survival of people and the planet. That is why I conduct soil science research here at the Ursinus College Organic Farm and continually try to make choices that support people and the environment, while influencing others to do the same. I think that people and the environment will always matter to me, but the solutions surrounding the protection of these things is ever changing, and therefore so is the way that I take action about what matters to me.

How should we live together?

I believe that living together requires considering how our collective choices impact the environment and others. I am interning this winter on an indoor, hydroponic farm that produces food at high yields with low inputs and, I believe, provides a promising and sustainable alternative agricultural method in the face of climate change and diminishing land and resource availability. Eventually, I hope we can work together to decrease our environmental impacts, especially when sustainable options are more accessible to us.

How can we understand the world?

I think that understanding the world requires an understanding of our interactions with nature. My Introduction to Food and Society (ENV/SOC-216) course challenged my understanding of food systems, our influence on them, and the scale of impacts they have. I am a student researcher in Dr. Finney’s lab studying how different agricultural practices influence the availability of nitrogen in soil and nitrogen leaching, which leads to environmental and human health problems. I only study the soil at the Ursinus College Organic Farm but I am trying to understand the scope of the impacts soil health can have in much larger systems, as well.

What will I do?

I plan to attend graduate school to study agroecology and how people can interact with their food and their environment in the most sustainable way.