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Alumni Spotlight: Ayja Bounous

Alumni Spotlight: Ayja Bounous

Ayja Bounous grew up at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, where the rhythmic pulse of the seasons was as much a part of life as breathing. It was not until her adult years, however, that she realized how her whole world revolved around Wasatch snow—from the places she loved, to the activities that she enjoyed doing, to the relationships in her life. She earned a Master's of Arts in Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah in 2017, and went on to publish her master’s thesis, Shaped by Snow: Defending the Future of Winter, with Torrey House Press in 2019.

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Alumni Spotlight: Morgan Lawrence

Alumni Spotlight: Morgan Lawrence

Through fire, forest, salt, and sky, Morgan lives and works to ground herself in the ecosystems of the American West. As an ORISE USDA Climate Change Communications Fellow, she translates climate science and develops communication materials related to climate change in forestry, agriculture, and rangelands. Prior to working at the Northwest Climate Hub, Morgan worked for four years as a wildland firefighter, and for three years as an environmental educator in Rocky Mountain and Denali National Parks.

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Alumni Spotlight: LaUra Schmidt

Alumni Spotlight: LaUra Schmidt

LaUra (she/her), a 2012 Environmental Humanities graduate, is a truth-seeker, community-builder, cultural critic, and grief worker. She is also the granddaughter of a holocaust survivor. Inspiration finds her in natural landscapes and honest, open-hearted dialogue. She is the founding director of the Good Grief Network and has been studying and cultivating personal and collective resilience strategies for nearly a decade. She is trained in nonviolent civil disobedience and is a Climate Reality Leadership Corps member & mentor.

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Faculty Feature: Danielle Endres

Faculty Feature: Danielle Endres

Danielle Endres is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah. She is also an affiliated faculty member in the Environmental Humanities Program. She recently received a National Science Foundation grant to research practices of energy democracy in Puerto Rico. Her research and teaching expertise lies in environmental communication, social movements, and Indigenous studies.

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Alumni Spotlight: Francesca Varela

Alumni Spotlight: Francesca Varela

Francesca received her M.A. in Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah in 2018. She now works as the Communications Coordinator at the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, and she is also the author of four environmentally-themed novels--Call of the Sun Child, Listen, The Seas of Distant Stars, and Blue Mar, which was her final project for the EH program.

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Last Updated: 8/21/21