Welcoming Aaron!

I was born and raised outside of Seattle, and moved into Capitol Hill five years ago to begin undergrad at Seattle University. From there, I graduated in 2016 with a BS in Psychology and Environmental Studies, and, after working on a research project for a Global Health startup, went right to the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington to start my Masters this past year. I’m extremely excited to get into this second (and final) year of the program and dive into my specialization in Environmental Policy and focusing my courses around social justice and ethics!

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I’m August Franzen, a senior at the University of Washington studying English and Environmental Science. I was born in Seattle but spent most of my childhood in Pittsburgh and moved back to Seattle for college. Every afternoon after school, I would walk the trails of a park near my home. These afternoons spent on and off the trails ignited my love of nature in an urban context.

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Mattie – Who I Am

I am a senior at the University of Washington pursuing my Bachelors in Landscape Architecture with a minor in Environmental Science and Resource Management. Born and raised in Spokane, Washington I grew up exploring and running wild through the pine forests of the Inland Northwest where I developed a deep love for the outdoors. Recognizing the impact the natural world has had on my own becoming, I am interested in exploring other people’s relationship to nature and how their experiences or lack thereof have influenced their personal lives, their participation in society, and their views of the world.

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Meeting the Secretary of the Interior!

The sun was out and the temperature was quickly rising. Groups of children in matching green t-shirts squirmed in their seats as camp counselors smeared sunscreen and led games to keep them occupied. Familiar camp songs drifted across Seward Park flooding my mind with memories of my own summer camp experiences in South Carolina. We were all eagerly awaiting the arrival of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell. Continue reading

Put Yourself In Their Paws, Hooves, and Claws

Empathy has always come easy to me, for better or for worse. I feel deeply and whole-heartedly. I clearly remember being a very small child, standing pressed up against the glass at the San Diego Zoo. The sun was beating down on my head as I gazed through the tendrils of my matted curly brown hair at creatures with orange hair much like my own. I lost myself in the similarities between them and me. Continue reading

Finding A Place To Belong Is A Lifelong Adventure

I’ve been sitting at my computer for the past ten minutes typing, deleting, re-typing, reliving embarrassing/heartwarming/nerve-wracking memories from my K-12 years, and typing again. I can’t tell if it’s the heat on this Seattle summer day as I’m writing this or the love-hate relationship I have with “belonging” that’s contributing to my writer’s block. My money’s on the latter. Continue reading

Get To Know Megan

When I am in the wilderness, I feel alive. I revel in the simultaneity of being active and empowered yet inevitably vulnerable to the elements. I believe this is what it means to be human. I chose to pursue a career in advocacy because I understand what it is like to feel alone and powerless, and I want to help people discover their own agency and dignity in the way that others have helped me. Through my early life, my family struggled with poverty, substance abuse, depression and homelessness. I spent much of my youth interacting with social workers, service providers and court-appointed counselors. But after being the first person in my family to graduate from high school, I found myself on a different path. Continue reading