Monday, May 5, 2014

Steve Lira-2014-2015 NRES Ambassador

Hello everyone! My name is Steve Lira, and I’m a new NRES ambassador for 2014-2015! I’m an NRES major with a concentration in land resources, as well as a Spanish minor. I’m just about to finish up my junior year of school, although not at Purdue. I’m currently spending my semester abroad in Queretaro, Mexico. While I love studying at Purdue, taking a semester abroad has been an amazing and life-changing decision. I think every student should at the very least go for a Spring Break abroad, but the longer the better! I chose to study in Mexico to finish my Spanish minor, and because it’s an amazing travel destination. The history, food, and people are all incredible, but as an NRES major, the nature of this country is as incredible as it is diverse. In my four months here, I’ve gone whale watching in the Pacific, hiked in the mountains, snorkeled in the Caribbean, and explored canyons in the forest. It’s truly a surrealistic place to live and study.
            Anyways, when I’m not traveling the world and I’m back in my home state at Purdue (I grew up in Granger, Indiana, just outside of South Bend), I feel right at home as an NRES major. Ever since I was little, I’ve loved being outside, and I’ve always felt the need that humans have a right and a duty to protect the planet that we live on. One of my favorite things about the NRES major at Purdue is that it’s very multidisciplinary, as solving environmental problems requires knowledge from several different sources. I’m also interested in a lot of these different subjects, such as ecology, soil science, economics, and politics. While I’m not entirely sure of my plans after graduation, I am very interested in using my knowledge of NRES to work internationally or with other cultures, as the environment isn’t just one country’s problem, it’s everybody’s problem. Outside of my major, I'm also a member of Marwood cooperative house and a big supporter of Purdue University Dance Marathon.
            Last semester at Purdue I had a job for the botany department, working as a herbarium digitizer, which is a fancy way to say that I scanned the collection of plant specimens that Purdue’s herbarium has to make a digital collection as well. However, I’m currently working with the head of the lab that I worked under to develop an undergraduate research project for my senior year. I’m very interested in working on a project that combines microbiology (the lab’s specialty) with something that I can relate to NRES. Once I get everything figured out, I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

            While I could say more, I feel like I’ve rambled on enough for my first post. Anyways, I’m very excited to serve as an ambassador for the following year, and I can’t wait to take on my duties!
This is a picture of me after an incredibly difficult hike in the mountains of Mexico to see the forests where Monarch butterflies spend the winter every year. Truly an incredible place.

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