Outstanding ENSP Student: Natalia Jaffee

Image Credit: Natalia Jaffee

September 12, 2017

A researcher at the Earth Systems Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), singer in the all-female a cappella group Mezumenet, and member of the Co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, ENSP senior Natalia Jaffee is impressive both in and out of the classroom!

Active in the environment both on and off campus, Jaffee has interned for the Audobon Naturalist Society and UMD’s Office of Sustainability through the LEAF Outreach team. As a member of the Audobon Society’s environmental education summer camp, she taught children about “nature, environment issues, and how to be sustainable.” Back on campus, Jaffee teaches students about environmental issues such as carbon footprints and aids students in sorting waste at various dining halls.

In the spring of 2017, Jaffee was able to study abroad in downtown Copenhagen, Denmark for the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. She notes that the experience was “one of the best… of [her] entire life” and highly recommends the programs to other ENSP students. One of her favorite activities involved traveling to Iceland to learn about glaciers and the dwindling effect climate change has on them. Any ENSP students interested in study abroad are encouraged to look at Education Abroad’s website and apply for a program!

After returning from Denmark, Jaffee could turn her sights toward her dream job of working as a sustainability consultant for a large company. “Large companies…can have a very influential effect on many other smaller companies,” she explains, “and even other large ones. If I can help them to be more sustainable and environmentally conscious, it may influence other companies to take the same actions.” Her back-up plan is to function as an environmental economist for the Environmental Protection Agency, where she could “determine the costs and benefits of various environmental regulations and see how to best implement laws to benefit as many stakeholders as possible.” Jaffee chose her ENSP concentration in environmental economics to complement these dreams.

Jaffee originally chose her concentration in environmental economics after taking ECON200 (Principles of Microeconomics) along with an environmental economics class. After taking these classes, she realized that she wanted to combine the “puzzle” of economic decisions that people make with her interest in the environment. Prior to enrolling in ECON200, Jaffee was leaning towards the other science-based concentrations; she urges incoming ENSP majors to “explore the concentrations a bit before you commit to one” in order to ensure a variety of science, policy, and economics experience.