Sustainability is a Journey

Thursday, February 10, 2022
Written by:
Kjersten Hyberger
Kjersten Hyberger

Hello! My name is Kjersten and I’m junior Environmental Studies major, with a focus on Indigenous Natural Resource Law & Policy. I began working with the Office of Sustainability last summer and have enjoyed being a part of sustainability initiatives and efforts on campus with this fantastic team of people!

As an Oregon native, born nestled between the Cascade Range mountains and the Pacific Ocean, a love and respect for nature was planted deep inside my heart at a very young age. Growing up in logging country in the 80s, also brought a keen awareness of the struggle between commerce and conservation, as the battle between the northern spotted owl and old growth timber dominated headlines and local talk for over a decade.

I do not take for granted the gift of growing up surrounded by natural beauty, it was this love and respect for nature that ultimately brought me to the Environmental Studies program at UNL to pursue a degree focused on Indigenous Natural Resource Policy. It is so important that we manage our natural resources in ways that are both sustainable and equitable, so that all people will be able to enjoy them for generations to come.

Living in Nebraska we have so much to be grateful for: lots of water, fertile soils, room to stretch and run, clean air, sunshine for days! And with this great power, comes great responsibility; which is why I love the opportunity to connect with people in the community and help work on solutions to current natural resource issues. Thanks to my Environmental Engagement class, I am serving on a team, partnered with Daugherty Water for Food Institute, that is investigating statewide groundwater contamination and its impact on private well users. Clean water is an issue that impacts every Nebraska resident, and I am excited to be able to use my time as a student to positively impact my community!