Class of 2009: Dalnews profiles some of the 2,700 graduates who'll walk across the stage of the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium during Spring Convocation, May 19 to 27.
The environment needs a lawyer. Alison Koper intends to be its attorney. The graduating environmental science student decided to pursue a career fighting for the environment at the early age of 10. While driving through the Rockies on a ski trip as a child, she saw smoke from a large cement factory. “I need to fix that,” she remembers thinking. A determined young Ms. Koper had a glimpse of her future.
Choosing Dalhousie for its reputation in sustainability, she enrolled in environmental programs, with a concentration in earth sciences. Ms. Koper became actively involved, joining the Dalhousie Environmental Programs’ Student Society in 2005 and serving as president since 2007. The impact of these experiences surprised her.
“I had no idea how much I’d grow here. I’ve made lasting relationships with friends and faculty, gained confidence and became more aware of the world around me and how I can help change it,” she says.
The Calgary native returned home each summer working for an environmental consulting firm, undertaking projects within the oil and gas industry. “I saw the environmental challenges facing business from a whole new perspective,” she explains.
She is a recipient of the Owen Hertzman Prize for significant contribution to the environmental programs’ student life at Dalhousie, winner of the 2009 Shell Prize for excellence in petroleum reservoir modeling and a member of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO Youth Advisory Group. She also assisted in the creation of Dalhousie’s new College of Sustainability, which offers the first -of-its-kind Environment, Sustainability and Society program.
This fall, Ms. Koper will pursue a degree in environment and natural resource law at the University of Calgary, hoping to help create policy and laws that increase energy efficiency and encourage sustainable energy development.
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