July 15, 2011
An Environment for Discovery
Stretching out with his Masai hosts on a rock slab overlooking the vast Kenyan savannah, Zachary Holz drifted off to sleep as unnamed fires burned and lions roared in the night. “This,” he thought with a shiver, “is Africa.”
The opportunity to spend a semester in East Africa was a major reason why Zach left the East Coast to attend Lewis & Clark. “It was a dream realized for me,” he says. While herding goats with the Masai and tracking giraffes in Tanzania with the hunter-gatherers of the Hadza, “I came to understand that relationships with the natural world don’t apply to everyone in the same way,” says Zach, an environmental studies major. “That, probably more than anything else, has defined the way that I look at environmentalism.”
On and off campus, Zach has explored his own relationship with the natural world at every opportunity. In the classroom, he has studied subjects ranging from ecology to environmental literature. Through College Outdoors, he has hiked, kayaked, camped, and climbed all over the Northwest. He works as the resident advisor in his outdoor-themed hall, edits Lewis & Clark’s student newspaper, and is a chair of the Environmental Studies Symposium. He also just landed a summer research position with his environmental history professor.
All of these experiences, he feels, are preparing him well for a future in environmental journalism—and leaving him feeling pretty optimistic about humanity, as well. “In the outside world,” says Zach, “I’ve found a reflection of everything I think humanity could be.”
Learn more about Overseas and Off-Campus Programs.