Cheryl Bennett, a student in the Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management program at the Milano School has earned the University of Michigan Environmental Fellowship. Check out what she’ll be doing as fellow in her own words.
With a background working with diverse populations surrounding food security, environment, and policy, Cheryl Bennett entered the Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management program at the Milano School in the fall of 2016. Her goal? To posit sustainable food systems as a driver of environmental conservation. “Agriculture is the largest interface humans have with the environment yet the current industrial agriculture model is based on a linear economy which views waste management and social costs as externalities and not part of production costs. And that is a problem.” As a 2017 University of Michigan Environmental Fellow, Cheryl has been placed with The Nature Conservancy and will be working on the Billion Oyster Project for the bioremediation of New York Harbor. “I am excited by this opportunity to deepen my knowledge on another aspect of ecosystem restoration while fostering community engagement. Environmental management and biodiversity is integral for healthy ecosystems.”
The Environmental Fellows Program at University of Michigan support graduate students who have leadership and academic potential; who are interested in diversifying the field of conservation through involvement in philanthropy; who think broadly beyond traditional definitions of conservation and have the ability to work across differences. The program places accepted students in one of our current supporting foundations for a paid 12-week fellowship program. As a 2017 University of Michigan Environmental Fellow, Cheryl has been placed with The Nature Conservancy and will be working on the Billion Oyster Project for the bioremediation of New York Harbor. BOP, an initiative of the New York Harbor Foundation, is an ecosystem restoration and education project aimed at restoring one billion live oysters to New York Harbor and engaging hundreds of thousands of school children through restoration based STEM education programs. Restoring oysters and reefs will, over time, restore the local marine ecosystem’s natural mechanisms for maintaining itself, resulting in cleaner water and greater biodiversity.