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Sam Littlefair‑Wallace talks about first year

A day in the life

Sam Littlefair‑Wallace talks about first year

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The class content keeps me on my toes and looking at the world in new ways. This really sets ESS apart from other programs—you’re encouraged to question things and think critically for yourself.

Learning something new every week


Sam Littlefair-Wallace was about to fly to Africa with Youth Challenge International for a summer of volunteering when he heard about Dal’s new ESS program. “That just the type of program I was looking for would pop up in my hometown was really serendipitous. And it’s one-of-a-kind—you won’t find anything like it anywhere else.”

In SUST 1000, Sam learned about the Annapolis Valley and systems of food production. “It really struck a chord with me,” he states. “It gave me a new perspective on something I’d been involved in and took for granted.”

For over a year, Sam worked for an organic farmer at the Halifax Farmer’s Market. Although he appreciated the free veggies, he didn’t think much more about it at the end of his busy Saturday shifts.

“Learning about industrial farming was extremely affecting,” Sam says. “I realized how much the world needs to change.”

What he learned even inspired him to change his lifestyle: “I started cooking my own food, sourcing locally as much as possible, and thinking about how my food choices affect the environment.” That influence extends into the future: he’s been thinking “it would be cool to be a farmer."

Of his double major in ESS and Economics and Journalism minor, Sam says, “All my classes complement each other so well.”

“There’s a synthesis,” he explains. “Journalism gets me thinking about creating awareness. Economics gives me a more right-wing perspective, while SUST classes give me the left. And, it’s been great, tailoring my education so closely to my interests.”

Being immersed in environmental issues might make a young person feel gloomy about the future. But Sam says his studies give him hope: “It all points to our resilience and how we can come together to find solutions when faced with challenges.”

At the same time, he realizes, “Humans have learned a lot, but we still have a long way to go before we’re stewards of the Earth. But I think the ESS program demonstrates that we can address difficult challenges—like food production and climate change. As I see it, this program is the next logical way forward to being in harmony with the different systems of the Earth.”