A day in the life
Daniel Brown (King's)
The professors are passionate and dedicated, with a wealth of knowledge they’re willing to share.
A hunger for change
Daniel Brown wanted to find a place and make it his own. So he came all the way to Halifax from Vancouver to do the Foundation Year Program (FYP) at the University of King’s College, which gave him a passion for critical thought. Three years later, Dan says, “Halifax is my second home.”
But it might not have been. As the FYP drew to a close, Dan thought about transferring. “But then I heard about Dal’s ESS program, so I decided to stay,” he says. “And I’m privileged to be a part of it. The ESS program is grounding and pertinent.”
Dan will complete a combined honours degree in Environment, Sustainability and Society (ESS) and International Development Studies (IDS). “My thesis will probably look at some aspect of the food system, such as food waste and associated energy waste,” Dan says. “It’s a highly relevant way of applying my theoretical studies.”
The multidisciplinary aspect of the ESS program is one of the best things about it, in Dan’s view. “And Dalhousie has fantastic resources,” he adds. “It has a huge range of profs and technologies, and an excellent library.”
Dan’s own passion for sustainability has prompted him to organize events with an environmental theme, such as the “Dark and Dirty” No Impact Experiment.
“Participating students made public pledges not to waste for seven days: to buy nothing with plastic that can’t be recycled, to use forms of transit that don’t involve gas, and to eat a local diet,” Dan explains.
Dan made the pledge himself. “I was very hungry at first!” he laughs. “I ate nothing but root vegetables the first day! But then I started discovering local seafood and fish, and apples and cider.”
In his student residence, different floors competed to reduce water and power consumption. “The goal was to create awareness, not to guilt people into a particular action,” Dan explains. “We wanted to empower students, to provide a structure in which people can change as a group. Nobody wants to be the only one trying to change.”
And that’s one thing the ESS program has made him realize—he’s one of many involved in the quest for a more sustainable future. “ESS students look out for each other,” Dan says. “They have very open minds and hearts.”