Sally Rivera on the importance of environmental education, for everyone

July 11, 2021
Sally Rivera holding and feeding a bird

What is your major/year?

I am going to be a senior, double majoring in Environmental Studies and Geography. 

What are you involved in on campus or in Tucson?

On campus, I am involved in some clubs/honoraries. I am in the Allegiance sports honorary and I am in Students for Sustainability. I also recently accepted a position as an intern for the following school year with the Watershed Management Group. My position is the environmental education and diversity, equity, and inclusion intern!  

What sustainability issues are you most passionate about?

The sustainability issues that I am most passionate about are climate change solutions as well as environmental education. Without the proper education about the climate crisis as well as the solutions that are being proposed, people would be oblivious to all things environmental and or suitability related. I am passionate about helping people of all ages get engaged with the natural environment surrounding them as well as learning how to protect and sustain it. 

What is the most interesting environmental class you have taken?

The most interesting environmental classes I have taken would have to be the remote sensing classes I took, or my climate and society class. They were very informative and remote sensing opened my eyes to a new aspect of environmental studies that I hadn't previously heard of before! 

What is a goal you hope to accomplish before you graduate?

Before I graduate, I hope to complete my internship with the Watershed Management Group successfully while also working with Americorps to help educate the Tucson community about our natural desert environment. When I was in high school, we had a student from ASU come into our class to teach us about sustainability and the programs offered for it in college, and it inspired me to do what I am doing today. I hope that I can inspire a student in the same way because knowledge is power, and that power will be able to cause a lot of positive change in our world. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received in your time as an environmental science student?

The best piece of advice that I have received in my time as an environmental studies student would be when my senior capstone professor told me that all work matters when it comes to our field of study and work. We may feel small or unimpactful as one person at times, but we are not. We are all powerful, and together we can make a change. This was impactful to me because it is easy to focus on the negatives in society sometimes (because there are a lot of them), but it is important to remain optimistic and realize that we are doing good work that will benefit all.