This first post is meant to be a brief introduction to the blog that I will soon be regularly updating. I am a native of the Appalachian Coalfields of Eastern Kentucky, and also a recent graduate from Berea College with an independent major in Sustainable Agricultural & Industrial Management. During my last semester, I applied for the Watson Fellowship, which was started by the founder of IBM and is intended to fund graduating seniors from certain colleges to spend a year traveling the world to pursue some focus of study. The proposal I put together has two main focal points: A.) Spend time in regions throughout the world that have parallels to Central Appalachia, and B.) Get direct experience with projects that could serve as models for improving the environment and economy of Appalachia. Renewable energy (especially sustainable biomass), diversified organic agriculture, and ecological remediation (especially of previously mined lands) are the main types of projects I hope to work with. My tentative list of countries is: Wales, Spain, Austria, Romania, Turkey, and India.
I will be leaving the U.S. on July 31st and will be required to stay out of the country for a full year. This blog will be updated every week or two once I am actually out and working on projects, and until then it will probably just sit here. Feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org, and be sure to check back regularly after July.