Learning to make a difference

Justin Roberts '12


Justin Roberts ’12

Matelich Scholar
Science, Technology, and Society Major
Environmental Policy and Decision Making Minor
Tacoma, Washington

My passion is working with and improving the relationship between people and the natural world. One of my biggest interests is the relationship between business, government, and nature—and the enormous potential that exists to make those relationships more harmonious. There are many good ideas and examples out there; the challenge is finding them and figuring out how to implement them in an increasingly complex world. 

My area of study is about as broad as I could make it. Science, technology, and society is a great major because it allows me to understand the broader context and historical background of the environmental issues I care about. Combined with the environmental policy and decision making minor, my studies are helping me understand how society propelled itself to its current environmental predicament, while also getting into the nuts and bolts of how we can fix it.

For example a combination of classes and professors that I had during the same semester made for a very cool learning experience. I was in three different classes: Science and Religion, Philosophy of Science, and Diversity of Life. At one point, all the classes were intersecting on one issue, although each from its own perspective. That’s the essential value of my education here: gaining an understanding through the convergence of ideas.

When I think about my professors, I appreciate them as fantastic educators and mentors, as well as friends. Among them I can recall great classroom experiences, as well as camping and hiking trips and time spent sharing thoughts. Many specific bits of knowledge I’ve acquired will inevitably slip out of my recollection, but the relationships I established here will last and continue to grow.

My Puget Sound education has prepared me to think independently and has given me a context for thinking about the issues that inspire me. I’m excited to get out there!

More About Justin

  • Came to Puget Sound by way of Willow Springs, Missouri, and Astoria, Oregon
  • Spent a semester working on organic farms in Ecuador and Peru
  • Plans to become involved with educational policy development and programs that introduce disadvantaged youth to nature and the outdoors
  • Plays guitar, harmonica, and “a bit of mandolin”

Photo by Scott Areman