Blake Slattengren

I am proud of designing my own capstone outcome, a graphically-oriented report. It taught me a lot about communicating information visually, a skill that is incredibly useful in the current information age.

Blake Slattengren, Class of 2018



Degree and Class Year

BA ’18


Kenmore, Washington


Environmental Studies


Cross country, track, Environmental Affairs Symposium

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Serene, Inspiring, Home

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

I fell in love with the beautiful campus and the city of Portland. Keith Woodard, the cross country coach, and the entire track team also helped make my decision easy.

In what ways did you change as a result of your Environmental Studies (ENVS) major?

Like many LC students, I came into college wanting to make the world a better place. I cared deeply about issues such as climate change and economic and social inequalities, and ENVS taught me how to approach these problems in an effective manner. It taught me to think both critically and holistically when problem solving to enact positive change.

What were the biggest challenges to you in ENVS that ultimately were worth the effort you put into them?

ENVS is not an easy major and it requires one to be open to various skills, mindsets, and ideas that may feel difficult or counterintuitive at first. Something that was initially hard for me was digital scholarship and learning to promote myself and my work online. It initially felt pointless, like no one would care what I had to say, but I eventually learned the importance of digital scholarship in today’s academic landscape and I really began to embrace and enjoy my academic blog.

How did you weave your experiences outside ENVS (e.g., an overseas program, an internship, a course in another department) into your ENVS major?

As an interdisciplinary major, ENVS incorporated most of my other classes. In particular, I took several entrepreneurship classes which changed how I viewed my ENVS core classes. Entrepreneurship and the embrace of emerging technologies became a lens through which I viewed environmental issues and which could inform my own experiences. ENVS is also a major with a global focus, and my study abroad program in South Korea certainly helped show me how a different culture contextualizes environment and environmentalism. For example, Seoul projects environmentalism through their recent and heavily underutilized ecocity, Songdo, or their bike share program. At the same time, Seoul has an advanced and heavily used public transportation system whose environmental benefits go without advertisement.

What is one thing you’re proud of in your ENVS capstone, and where do you think it may take you in future?

I am proud of designing my own capstone outcome, a graphically-oriented report. It taught me a lot about communicating information visually, a skill that is incredibly useful in the current information age.

How does the phrase Environment Across Boundaries apply to your own experiences in ENVS, and what will you carry forward from these experiences as you take next steps in your life?

To me, Environment Across Boundaries demonstrates that ENVS does not exist solely in its own academic silo, but rather, ENVS is an approach to problem solving that permeates all kinds of academic and career fields. Crossing boundaries embodies ENVS’s interdisciplinary approach, promotes the incorporation of radically different perspectives, and encourages wrestling with seemingly irreconcilable ideas. Moving forward, ENVS has given me the confidence to cross these boundaries.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

The track! Or just about anywhere on a sunny day.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?

There are an abundance of professional opportunities available, and Portland is a city that is at the forefront of a number of exciting industries. It is also just a beautiful city filled with restaurants and coffee shops to explore.

How did you decide on a major?

I initially planned on majoring in chemistry, but I was attracted to the wide variety of classes that I could take with the ENVS major.

How do you manage stress?

Running in Tryon Creek State Park