|Andrew Bernier '07|
|Sustainability instructor and curriculum author at the Center for Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST)|
Andrew Bernier ’07 received his degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in sustainability and a minor in Writing. He also is working on his PhD in Sustainability Education at Prescott College. He is currently a sustainability instructor and curriculum author at the Center for Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST). It is in fact the first, full time sustainability program in the country for public high school students. Rather than being part of another class, this program is an entire class that focuses on the issues involving sustainability. Slowly, sustainability is becoming an increasing part of our education, and what an important part it is! Andrew also helps Prescott College in the beginning phase of launching the Sustainability Communications Research Institute (SCRI).
In the past Andrew has worked for the Teach for America program, teaching 7th and 8th grade science, where he worked to fuse sustainability content into state teaching standards and involved creating sustainability projects on campus. He also worked in Ithaca as a building performance technician at Performance Systems Contracting, and was a photographer for A Better Camera Habit Photography. In addition, Andrew was the program director for RadioPhoenix.org, a volunteer community non-profit radio station.
Andrew has recently returned from a colloquium for his PhD program in Puerto Rico. There, Andrew and others shared their current research and were able to see for themselves the beautiful bays being polluted by plastic debris. They also heard stories of people who has been suppressed due to historic bombardment practice on the island and the refusal or do further clean up. Andrew stayed in a low impact eco-resort, and even kayaked though the bio-illuminescent bay!
As an undergrad, Andrew was quite involved in sustainability. He created “Your Impact,” a sustainability-themed radio show on WICB. The show focused on the individual, community, and national efforts of people, and how they effect the environment, the economy, and each other. Its goal was to educate and learn. Andrew also created “Hall Wars” and “IC Flea Market” , both of which were Residence Hall Association (RHA) sponsored sustainability programs. Andrew was involved in the Alternative Landscaping capstone project and went on an abroad trip to Antigua and Barbuda as part of his Documenting Ecosystems Through Narrative Writing class. On a side note, he was also treasurer and improv coordinator of the IC Comedy Club.
Being an orientation leader, an RA, and involved in RHA as well as going on service trips really allowed Andrew to put academic content into action, and earned him leadership skills. During his sophomore year, Andrew took a class entitled “History of American Environmental Thought,” taught by Michael Smith. This class is what really piqued his interested in sustainability, as he learned about how we as Americans have evolved to think regarding the natural world, which got him riled up, and this passion has stayed with him ever since.
Andrew could not have predicted that he would be where he is now, but he knows that whatever his career may be in the future, it will always involve sustainability. Andrew encourages students to get involved and explore all the resources and many opportunities offered on campus. “Be diversified and don't just do sustainability things all the time, but see how sustainability can be applied to anything, and then go apply it. Make sustainability your own thing.”
For more information on CREST, visit www.crestsustainability.net