The following post was written by Kailyn Bettle, an undergraduate research assistant for the Geographic Alliance of Iowa at the University of Northern Iowa. Katie Shelton, this week’s Educator of the Week, works to show students that they can appreciate and advocate for the environment around them. Katie serves as the naturalist for the Blackhawk County Conservation Board in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where she heads … Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Dirty Hands for Inspired Hearts
My name is Michelle Renn and from now through August I’ll be interning at National Geographic and contributing to the My Wonderful World blog.
The fact is: I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe that we truly live in a wonderful world. All throughout my childhood I was fortunate to travel a lot with my family. We traveled domestically and internationally, often taking road trips across the country in the summers. We camped along the way, exploring National Parks, big cities, small towns– and everything in between. I learned from a young age that travel is about the journey, not just the destination. In retrospect, I entirely credit my parents with instilling in me a profound desire for exploration. Once I was exposed to a taste of new places, cultures, languages, and foods, the curiosity was unstoppable. I began to realize what a very large world we live in, and I became determined to experience as much of it as I could.
My love for exploration is likely what attracted me to Geography as a major in college. The breadth and depth of the discipline is miraculous, comprising everything from studies of humans and cultures, mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), environmental issues and systems, and physical attributes of the Earth. Geography is the exploration of people, cultures, the environment, and the intersections among them— it is an exploration of the planet we all share. I couldn’t stay away. 🙂