Meet Benjamin Scott, EEP student
Benjamin is a student in the Environmental Economics and Policy (EEP) program, who is passionate about solving environmental issues, like climate change, in an equitable and fair manner. He enjoys the interdisplinary nature of the bachelor of science in environmental sciences program, that allows him to take courses on a varety of subjects. When he isn't exploring U of G's beautiful campus you can find him among the books in the McLaughlin Library.
Program: Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences - Environmental Economics and Policy
Hometown: Etobicoke, Ontario
Year of Study: Fourth year
Why did you decide to study at the University of Guelph (U of G)?
While applying to different universities during my final year of high school, I was often overwhelmed by the variety of information on admissions, programs, and finances available online for prospective students to consider in their decision-making. To rid myself of the anxiety brought on by information overload and gain the most comprehensive perspective, I participated in in-person tours of each university’s campus to meet and hear directly from faculty, staff and, most importantly, students about their unique experiences. After hearing of the tremendous opportunities that U of G had to offer and seeing first-hand the state-of-the-art facilities and green space on the campus, I knew that it was the best fit for me.
What inspired you to study Environmental Economics and Policy?
I was inspired to study Environmental Economics and Policy due to the increasing need for individuals with expertise to solve environmental issues. It needs to be in a way that is economically efficient and intends to improve people’s lives in an equitable and fair manner. Since achieving efficiency and equity are at the heart of several economic concepts and topics, I figured that this major would be the easiest way to ensure that I was prepared to contribute to solving these issues in a way that is cost-effective and fair.
What do you like best about your program?
I really enjoy the interdisciplinary nature of the bachelor of science in environmental sciences. It has allowed me to enroll in a variety of courses related to several fields of study, such as economics, politics, and environmental sciences. I have been able to acquire a wide breadth of knowledge and learn about multiple perspectives on how to confront some of the most challenging and unique environmental issues facing our world today.
What has been the most interesting thing you’ve done in a class?
I was required to enroll in ENVS*4001/4002 – Project in Environmental Sciences, an upper-year course that allows students to apply their learning from earlier courses to a contemporary environmental issue. I collaborated with other students under the guidance of a client involved in the particular issue. My group worked alongside the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Pollution Probe to explore the relationship between carbon pricing and phosphorus reuse and recovery. This was an incredible opportunity to apply many of the economic and policy analysis tools, that I have been introduced to in previous semesters, to solve a real-world environmental problem. I consider it to be one of the coolest things that I have done in a class throughout my time at U of G.
Do you have a favourite class?
In the most recent semester, I was required to enroll in FARE*4290 – Land Economics, which involved studying how humans in a society allocate land and the different implications for health, wealth, and the environment. Most interestingly, the professor teaching the course, Dr. Brady Deaton Jr., often emphasized how property rights and institutions underly many of the supply and demand models that I had been exposed to in previous courses. Enrolling in this course allowed me to gain an entirely new perspective on much of the material that I had learned about in previous semesters.
What is your favourite spot on campus?
I know that it might seem odd, but I have always found that McLaughlin Library seems to be my favourite spot on campus each and every year. Whether it was meeting up with classmates to socialize before one of my classes or studying in the late hours of the night before an important examination, I always feel extremely comfortable working on any of the several floors in the library. Now, perhaps being an avid book reader, I innately enjoy being surrounded by so much literature and publications, while I forcing myself to do work when I am feeling particularly unmotivated.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
If I was to give incoming students any piece of advice, I would advise that your experience at the U of G is entirely based on what you make of it!
If you are interested in meeting students outside of your classes, there are plenty of clubs to join and volunteer opportunities to seek out that will connect you with other like-minded individuals. If you are more curious about becoming involved in research opportunities, there are a variety of programs that provide students with the ability to explore their field of study outside of the classroom. However, if you are solely focused on your academics and want to graduate with a degree as soon as possible, there are academic support resources that you can utilize as much as you would like.
No matter what role you want U of G to play in your educational and personal development journey, there are many opportunities to take advantage of and it is entirely up to you to choose which ones to seek out for yourself.