Environmental Conservation Education

Student Profiles

Emily Litvack 

As a child, I was very lucky to have my dad bring me to see Dr. Jane Goodall speak about her experiences working with chimpanzees and her Roots and Shoots program. This experience inspired me and fostered a desire to help conserve endangered species and create a more sustainable planet.

In college, I studied environmental science and conservation biology at McGill University, where I had the opportunity to assist on various research projects focused on invasive species, marine mammal conservation, and sustainable aquaculture in Canada and Barbados.

Following graduation, I lived in Israel for a year, where I interned as a research assistant at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While there, I helped to organize a workshop on science-based conservation, where I heard a presentation that completely changed my career path. This speaker emphasized that the most important area to help solve the current environmental crisis is education. These words had sealed the deal – I knew that environmental education was what I wanted to do.

In Montreal, I also worked at a grassroots non-profit organization devoted to environmental awareness and education in the Montreal Jewish community. I organized and led eco-service projects for teenagers, including a wetland restoration project following the Deepwater Horizon Disaster, and gardening projects with the Mohawk and Atikamekw First Nation communities in Quebec.

I came to NYU’s ECE program with a desire to learn more about creating continually engaging environmental education programs for youth, in a supportive, creative environment with an interdisciplinary focus. My time at the ECE has been everything I was looking for and more. I am so impressed by the continual support and encouragement of the professors as well as my classmates. The interdisciplinary nature of the program gives students a sense of ownership of the program – we are not only here to learn but also shape what we learn.

Currently, I am a Teaching Fellow at the Central Park Zoo. In the fall, I will be designing eco-service projects at an after-school program in Brooklyn.