By Campus Sustainability Fund | Aug 13, 2016

Kyle McDermott started as the new Campus Sustainability Fund coordinator this summer. He is pursing a Master of Environmental Horticulture at UW, and came to Seattle from Northern Arizona University, where he got his Environmental Science degree with an emphasis in Communications. In Flagstaff he worked as arts writer for a publication while also working on environmental projects, a combination that serves as an example of his desire to look for interdisciplinary approaches to solving sustainability challenges. 

UW Graduation Year: 2018
Major: Master of Environmental Horticulture
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Bicycling

What inspired you to get involved with the CSF?
"I’d worked diligently as an undergraduate researcher at Northern Arizona University to find alternatives to using toxic herbicides on campus lawns. The project was severely underfunded and I worked for over two years on a volunteer basis with a very small budget. Looking back, if I had access to something like the CSF, my project could have been more successful. My mission has since been to support sustainability projects on school campuses—the CSF does exactly this, so it’s great to be involved."

What is your favorite CSF project?
"Education is important for instilling environmental practices amongst our community members. For this reason, I’m fond of the Education and Outreach project at the UW Farm. The project’s reach is impressive, involving Education majors, and elementary-age students from the Seattle area. It’s great to see the CSF facilitate a program that not only has a positive impact on UW’s campus, but the greater Seattle community."

What do you view as your greatest responsibility as the CSF Coordinator?
"Making sure that current and prospective projects are adequately supported. Additionally, since all UW students are helping to support the CSF through the Student Activity Fee (SAF), I feel inclined to grow our reach amongst diverse disciplines, individuals, and groups on campus."

What is your dream job?
"I love working with kids and the community. I grew up in a more impoverished and culturally diverse part of Tucson. I’d like to give back to our communities most in need. Environmental and food justice is important to me—providing folks with fresh and organic meals and access to nature and healthy ways of living. Being an integral part of an organization that does this type of work would be both exciting and gratifying."