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Featured Student: Kevin Belanger

“The best part of ENVS in my opinion is the emphasis on community.  The small incoming classes each year allow us to create a close and supportive group of students and faculty.”

When Kevin Belanger entered the Environmental Studies Program in Fall 2008, he was passionate about alternative transportation and ready to engage in graduate studies that would provide him with direct professional experience.  This December, Kevin graduates with concurrent Masters degrees in Environmental Studies and Community and Regional Planning.  He looks forward to turning his passion into practice.

“I want to use my environmental studies and community and regional planning degrees to make it easier for people to choose to use other modes of transportation besides the personal automobile,” says Kevin.

Upon beginning the program, Kevin quickly found a thesis project directly related to his academic and professional interests.  For the past two years, he’s worked with Nico Larco, an Assistant Professor of Architecture, on an ongoing project examining walking and biking in Eugene suburban multifamily housing.  Kevin developed and conducted surveys, and his thesis ultimately offers recommendations to help improve transportation options in these kinds of communities.

Kevin also recently completed an academic internship as a transportation planner for the City of Gresham.  Over the summer, he helped redesign a major arterial to make it easier for people to walk to public transportation stops in Gresham, and also wrote a large federal transportation grant application for the city. “This internship gave me tangible experience and solid connections to help me fulfill my goals, which was awesome,” says Kevin.

Later this December, Kevin will return home to Washington, D.C., where he hopes to improve the walking and biking environment on the East Coast.

Read about other Environmental Studies Program students and faculty members here.