Kaylee Howser

Kaylee Howser BA '24



Degree and Class Year

BA ’24


Santa Cruz, California


Environmental Studies


Earth System Science


Environment Across Boundaries (ENVX) Symposium

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

Community, Eccentric, Outdoorsy

What’s your favorite class? Why?

Unnatural Disasters with Associate Professor Liz Safran. I have always been interested in natural disasters, and this course was able to provide a wide scope of information, through perspectives I had never thought of before, but now think are crucial for everyone to learn about.

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

The small class sizes and abundance of extracurricular options!

What do you like or find most interesting about your major?

Throughout my time as an environmental studies student, I constantly find myself marveling at the fact that everything is so connected. Regardless of how different my subjects are, each class has taught me that every person, problem, and situation is socially, historically, and politically situated.

What do you like or find most interesting about your minor?

Being an Earth system science minor has given me the ability to understand the physical and chemical processes that are the foundation of concepts I have believed in vehemently my whole life. This has given me so much more confidence in my studies and daily life in talking about the issues I care about as I can actually describe why I fight for the things I do.

Tell us about your support systems and social outlets on campus: people, activities, clubs, res halls, etc.

I did school remotely for the entirety of my first year, as it was 2020 and the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. When I did arrive on campus as a sophomore, I felt as though I had missed an integral part of the college experience and I wouldn’t be able to merge into the community as I had seen my peers do. Yet as I enter my senior year of college, I feel as though I have cultivated a strong sense of community, support, and friendship with the resources that were provided to me, and the amazing friends I was able to find. What helped me to be able to do so, despite feeling isolated and behind, was truly taking advantage of the fact that L&C is a small campus. I started a study group for my Climate Science class, something that was really out of my comfort zone, and from there it was a domino effect. Although it can be difficult to force oneself to involve themselves in the community around them, I felt like it really paid off in my situation, and there are so many wonderful opportunities to do so on the L&C campus.

What advice do you have for incoming students?

Talk in class! Go outside as much as you can. Really look into all the services that L&C provides (IT services, checking out textbooks, extra financial aid support); don’t be like me and find out about all the amazing perks in your last year!!

Have you been involved with one of our symposia, as an organizer or participant? What was the experience like? How did the event complement your academic experience?

I am currently a cochair for the 2023 Environment Across Boundaries (ENVX) Symposium. This year’s theme is Life Within Capitalism: Reconsidering Market Consequences and the Earth System. This experience has taught me so much, and I am so excited for the event in the fall. I highly recommend getting involved in the symposia here at L&C as an organizer! I have also attended a lot of the symposia at L&C, and I always learn something new. Although the ENVX Symposium will always be my favorite (I am biased!), the International Affairs Symposium always has thought-provoking debates!

Who is your mentor on campus? Why?

Associate Professor Jessica Kleiss. No matter how busy she is (and we know she can get busy!) she will always give you the time and respect you deserve as a student. And I simply admire her optimism and achievements!

Laura Mundt. I know I do not only speak for myself when I say the Lewis & Clark community is extremely blessed to have Laura with us. She will go to any lengths to ensure a student is successful, and get there in a happy and supported manner. I have come to be so grateful to get to work closely with Laura, and I suggest any environmental studies student makes the effort to thank her for all she does for us.

Environmental Studies Earth System Science ENVX Symposium