Randall Amster’s Reflections

Posted in Reflections

Randall Amster

Teaching Professor and Co-Director
Environmental Studies

What is your connection to sustainability or the environmental movement? This can be on a personal or professional level.

Professionally, I’m co-director of Environmental Studies — so the connection is in the title. Personally, I’m equally invested in studying, working with, & learning from the environment.

What is an action you are taking to improve the environment, whether in your personal or professional life?

I’m very fortunate to be able to say that my professional work — teaching, writing, speaking, etc. — is all about environmental improvement; but it’s just as important to me to try and take individual steps in this direction when it comes to all of the choices we make every day.

Do you have an environmental “fun fact” you would like to share? This can be an anecdote, something you’ve read, or anything else that feels important to you!

I remember a workshop exercise where people were asked to identify where they feel the most “at home” — connected, supported, appreciated, etc. Overwhelmingly, the answers tended toward forests, mountains, water, parks, and other places and experiences in “nature”.

Do you have a recommendation or piece of advice for Hoyas who wish to do more to help the planet?

You got this!

From your perspective, how do the environment and sustainability relate to connectedness and community care? Are there uplifting ideas or messages about the environment that you would offer to your fellow Hoyas during these challenging times?

We are all connected to and through the environment, and moments of challenge and crisis often bring this out in surprising and inspiring ways. For instance, in so-called “natural disasters” we often see incredible expressions of compassion and solidarity emerge within impacted communities, despite standard perceptions of selfishness or isolation. These cases can bring to the fore not only the rediscovery of common bonds but also a sense of strength through shared struggle. The environment interconnects us across time and space, providing an opportunity to reconnect with one another and all of us together to the world we share.