It's not a stretch to see why Logan Henderson '17 and Brayan Lozano '20, make such a great team, working a full-time internship together at the Dartmouth Organic Farm. With Logan's wide smile greeting student volunteers and his gentle attitude ensuring an inclusive atmosphere at the farm, and Brayan's indefatigable energy and engineer's methodicalness, the farm has rarely looked more beautiful or bountiful. The busy interns scrubbed the soil off their hands to answer a few questions about their time at Dartmouth and how working on the farm has increased their connection to the land and sustainability.
Question: Where you are from, how/why you chose Dartmouth?
Logan: I’m from Los Angeles. I decided to come to Dartmouth because they gave me the most financial aid and I wanted to experience the North East culture.
Brayan: I’m from the Bronx in New York City. One of the main reasons why I came to Dartmouth was because of the extensive Outdoors program it offers all its students as well as the D-Plan. It offers me flexibility with my course load and with my 4 years here so that I can find internships and jobs during parts of the year where most college students are still taking classes.
Q: What are you studying/did you study here at Dartmouth? How do those studies relate to sustainability?
L: I majored in Native American studies while fervently taking courses in African and African American studies, Computer Science, Digital Arts, Studio Arts, and Geography. These subjects, whether that are the study of peoples, cultures, ways of doing, being, or knowing are dependent on the well being of the Earth and perhaps necessitate or advocate for the taking care of the Earth.
B: I am currently studying Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science. Some would say those fields are somewhat unrelated to sustainability but I think I can apply a lot of the problem solving methods that I learn to finding more sustainable solutions for ongoing wasteful or harmful practices.
Q: Why did you become involved with the sustainability office?
L: I became involved with the office because I was interested in engaging with the farm while I still had access to it as a student.
B: I decided to become a part of the sustainability office because I hope to use my knowledge in engineering and computer science to one day help solve problems in sustainability. However I lacked the knowledge of what exactly some of the issues were and what kind of approaches and solutions had already been attempted. Working at the farm has helped brainstorm ways of helping reduce water waste on farms and possibly on campus.
Q: What else are/were you involved with on campus?
L: On campus, I was involved with the Office of Pluralism all the terms I was on campus and the Dartmouth Action Collective, a student activist group composed of students from communities across campus.
B: I am currently president of the Drone Club.
Q: How do you incorporate sustainability into your daily life? What else can Dartmouth students do to be more sustainable?
L: I think about how to make the world a better place for all of the living creatures on it and the Earth itself. I just try to be thoughtful and minimize the harm I cause when and where I can, including how I engage with other people different from myself.
B: I am very aware of the food I buy or consume and try to minimize how much of it goes to waste. I also try to use disposable plates as little as possible due to how much waste it creates when used by large groups of people. Simply paying attention to how much water you may be wasting during daily tasks such as brushing your teeth or showering can make a big difference in the long run.
Q: Favorite thing about Dartmouth? What do you do for fun?
L: I like the woods and waterways away from campus. I like to watch tv, movies, read graphic novels and fiction, and problem solve real world issues and brainteasers.
B: I really enjoy have quick access to the outdoors in comparison to my hometown NYC. I like mountain biking and occasionally go kayaking in my spare time.
Q: Favorite class you've taken so far? Recommendation for future students interested in sustainability?
L: I don’t like to pick favorites but I have a few classes I appreciate deeply that I would also recommend to students interested in sustainability: Social Justice in the City with Treva Ellison, #BlackLivesMatter course with the Ferguson Teaching Collective, Federal Indian Law with N. Bruce Duthu, and Encountering Forests with Nicholas Reo.
B: CS1 was a really fun class because of how much I was able to pick up and learn as well as the friends I made when working on difficult coding projects.
Q: What, in your opinion, is the best thing we can all do to encourage universal environmental sustainability?
L: Listen to the indigenous folks whose land you live on or visit about how to best take care of that place. Wherever you go, be kind, be careful, be thoughtful and practice better habits.
B: The best thing you can do is to make sure the people who are closest to you also understand your passion for sustainability and let them know about ways they can incorporate sustainable practices in their lives.
Brayan & Logan: Working together as a ’17 and ’20 with different academic focuses is a lot of knowledge sharing. As we are both first-time farmers, there’s a lot of knowledge gaining too. However, the notice in difference of year tends to disappear as the summer goes on due to our constant collaboration when ensuring that the farm is fully operational. With the common goal of getting all necessary tasks done at the farm, our approach to solving problems is what most differs due to our different majors.