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Sustainable Idaho: Sustainability Club and New Host

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This past month, we’ve talked about drought in Idaho and how it affects water as a resource, impacts fire season, peoples’ health, and most recently, intermittent streams. This week, I decided to take a step back from some of our heftier topics to talk with our old host Eizaak Jordan about the Sustainability Club and to introduce our new host, Katie Kelshaw.

First, I brought Eizaak on to give us the semesterly update on ISU’s Sustainability Club. As one of Sustainable Idaho’s co-hosts over the summer, Eizaak learned a lot about a variety of topics and as President of the Sustainability Club, he began a semester, reinvigorated to bring new ideas for the club to life. I started by asking him for a review of the club, what its purpose is, and what membership looks like. Eizaak explained that the club is meant to help people connect with nature and advocate for environmental causes. While the Sustainability Club is meant for the ISU community and students, Idahoans from all over are welcome to help out and join in on events.

I then asked Eizaak which project or event has been his favorite from his time with the Club so far. It sounded like the club has done some truly beneficial work for the community in the past.

So then, are there any similar projects planned for this semester? Eizaak stated that the club plans on partnering with the Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust to recycle trash and debris found on their lands and turn it into a sculpture. From my perspective, that sounds like a wonderful endeavor. In addition to this main project, the club plans on combining their education days with different outdoor activities, like fly fishing and yurting, so that students can experience a wide range of ways to enjoy and learn about our natural environment.

As our summer listeners probably know, we had to say goodbye to Eizaak as a host when the school year started. But now, I have the honor of introducing our new host, Katie Kelshaw. Katie told us a little bit about herself, her career goals, hobbies, and why she joined the Sustainable Idaho team.

Katie: I was born and raised in Pocatello ID, but I actually went to Boise State to get a Bachelors and Masters degree in Political Science. My career goals are to work internationally to help reduce global poverty, conflict, and of course address climate disasters. I am joining the sustainable idaho team because I myself want to learn more about sustainability and environmentalism and I think the opportunity to present that knowledge on a public forum is very worthwhile. I currently work with a grass-roots advocacy organization called Action Corps which campaigns for climate justice, among other things. Action Corps is a national organization, and I represent Idaho on the leadership team and have been able to do things like lead lobby calls with Idaho’s two senators and run campaigns centered around international aid for the pandemic and of course climate action.

As stated on their website, “Action Corps is a grassroots initiative to build people power in solidarity with people around the world. The organization is focused on U.S. policies in solidarity with people from Yemen and Burma, communities most affected by climate disasters, and low-income countries dealing with COVID-19.” I asked Katie one more question about what sustainability means to her.

Katie: To me, sustainability means being smart about what we use in the present to ensure we have enough in the future. And that applies to natural resources, food, water, breathable air, everything really.

Well welcome aboard, we’re excited to have you! For our listeners, tune in next week as we dig into soil science. And for those interested in learning more about the Sustainability Club, email sustainableclub@isu.edu.

Ailie Maclean was born and raised in Alaska but moved to Kimberly, Idaho right before high school. Ailie is an undergraduate Political Science and Global Studies major at ISU. She is going into her last year at ISU as Vice President of Idaho State’s student government, ASISU, and has served as an Honors Program Mentor, Communications Envoy, and ASISU Supreme Court Justice in past years. In her free time she enjoys reading, longboarding, hiking, watching anime, and swimming in unique places (Silfra in Iceland for example). Ailie plans on studying environmental, or some variation of international law, after taking a gap year to travel and work abroad.