DukeEngage Summer Volunteer Annie Maass

DukeEngage is an immersive service experience that sends over 400 students to both international and domestic locations every summer. Students participate in civic engagement activities of many different varieties. Each student in the Portland program is matched with a community partner who embodies environmentalism and sustainability efforts. If you are interested in reading a little more about what we are up to in Portland, follow this link: http://dukeengageportland2014.weebly.com/

Hello! My name is Annie Maass and I am extremely excited to be working here at SOLVE with Green Team this summer! At Duke, I am a rising junior majoring in Public Policy with a minor in Environmental Science and Policy. I hope to someday attend law school after working more with domestic environmental policy.

Aside from my studies, I am a member of various organizations. I am a member of the Duke Women’s Club Lacrosse Team. I have played lacrosse for nine years and I love having the opportunity to be part of a team sport in college. My freshman year, I represented my dorm as an Eco-Rep, an environmental initiative to help make Duke’s campus “green.” I specifically worked to improve recycling on the freshman campus, including raising awareness on recyclable materials.

The Eco-Rep program really opened my eyes to the environmental cause. Although there are large numbers of sustainability efforts at Duke, there is still so much that can be done. This is also true for other areas throughout the country. I became extremely involved with this program, and from then on, I knew I wanted to continue my environmental efforts.

I arrived in Portland wanting to further my own understanding of sustainability and what it actually means in such a large and enthusiastic community. I have lived in a small suburb about 40 minutes from New York City for my entire life, so I was excited to come to the Northwest and view the environment from an alternate perspective. Everyone in Portland is extremely friendly and dedicated to the environmental cause.

In the past week at SOLVE, I have already gained an immense amount of knowledge. I can already identify many native plants species, as well as identify the invasive ones that we remove as part of our restoration projects! I am still learning, but it becomes easier with each passing day. I am excited to learn more throughout the summer, and I look forward to spending time with Green Team and the wonderful staff here at SOLVE!

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