“I really like GMC because you can dig in and create relationships. You can be the change you’d like to see.”
Kim Barrett, a senior and native of Huntington, N.Y., found Green Mountain College while “looking for the next step,” she said. A double natural resources management and environmental studies major with concentrations in environmental education, communication and natural sciences, Huntington, N.Y. native Kim Barrett aspires to educate and inspire the public about environmental issues through her expertise in filmmaking.
Kim transferred to GMC in 2011 after attending New York University, studying biology and working in Alaska at Tongass National Forest. “When I left high school I studied film and television at NYU, I was making documentaries, but was also doing environmental conservation work,” she said. “After NYU, I did environmental interpretation for the Fish and Wildlife Service and monitored Sockeye salmon for the Forest Service. I was using cameras to record the salmon’s spawning behavior and assisted in other projects to help subsistence hunters that rely on healthy salmon populations,” she said.
She went to Australia for over a full semester, living and working in the rainforest at the Centre for Rainforest Studies. “I learned about rainforest ecology and rehabilitation while conducting my own research on a World Heritage Site monitored by Australia’s CSIRO. This opportunity was a direct result of having close relationships with professors. (President) Paul Fonteyn helped me write grants to fund the trip.”
“It’s been a very interesting ride. After working in Alaska, I knew I wanted to go somewhere with a career-focused major,” she said. GMC had what she was looking for, and it also had an attractive community. “I really like GMC because you can dig in and create relationships. You can be the change you’d like to be. I wouldn’t be able to do that if it wasn’t for being here,” she said.
Kim’s Delicate Balance project reaches beyond campus borders: raising awareness for Jamaican and Hispanic migrant workers in Vermont. “I’ve been traveling to Champlain Orchards and really getting to know the Jamaican workers there. I’ve been interviewing and taking pictures, and I’m hoping next semester we can have a photography exhibit to raise awareness.”
Kim would love to educate the public through combining her skills in research, ecology and film. “I want to be drawing from all my passions and utilize all of my skills to improve specific environmental and social problems,” she said, “I want to do work that combines my love for field-research, education and film.”