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I took a deep breath in and let my surroundings sink in, I paused, looking up to see the glowing moon and stars shining through the tall, dark, leafy trees. I could hear the crackling of fire and the faint sound of people laughing and chatting together. I heard the crunch of rocks beneath footsteps that passed and the leaves of the trees rustled by the slight wind. I have always loved going camping with my family. To me, there is nothing better than two weeks of cool summer nights under the stars, campfires every night, and afternoon swims in the lake. Being in nature was always something I enjoyed. From long hikes through the woods to visiting national parks, I have always admired the natural beauty of the world. This remarkable beauty is visible truly in everything around us. Start with a flower, it seems like a simple thing yet it is very complex. The petals in every flower are just somewhat different from each other. Some of the leaves are dried out by the sun or have pieces missing because they have been eaten by an insect, others are growing splendidly. The color of that flower radiates vividly for pollinators to see and the roots intertwine and spread through the soil growing and giving life. The things that oftentimes seem so simple have this level of complexity that makes them so unique and beautiful. Now, look at the other side of that spectrum and examine the geysers and springs in Yellowstone National Park. The park is full of geothermal activity, hotsprings, and yet surprisingly is full of life. Geysers are full of bacteria and other living organisms that have adapted to survive in higher than average temperatures. The intricateness of nature never ceases to amaze me. Everywhere I turn there is something new to see and explore so that is why in the summer of 2018 when camping with my family in Vermont, I was truly disappointed to see a hiking trail covered with litter. That natural beauty which I so admired was trashed with all sorts of plastic bottles, snack wrappers, and paper pieces. Now this was not the first time I had come across something like this, but it had become more and more a common sight the older I became. The more I saw sights like this, the more upset I was when I saw them. After I helped pack up the tent the next morning and with my family got into the car to return home from Vermont, the long drive gave me some things to think about. During the drive, I was able to contemplate my own impact on the environment. I felt I was not doing enough, and I wanted to do more. I thought about things I could do, but I felt none would have the lasting impact I wanted to leave for the world. Then suddenly it came to me; what better to do than to go into a career where I could make an impact everyday. There is a quote by David Attenborough that perfectly captures how I feel about going into a career in environmental science, “An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment”. I realized that a career in environmental science would be able to give me that satisfaction of helping out the place I love so dearly, and I could combine my love for the Earth with my love for travel. Still to this day, the thought of studying environmental science excites me. This is what I want to do and what I will always work towards because it has always been and will always be my passion.

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