April 22, 2016 marks Earth Day, and Stephanie Shuck, outdoor education and restoration coordinator, has been busy working to provide activities and educational opportunities to the Marian University community during the entire Earth Week. Some activities have included planting trees, removing invasive species from the Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab, a presentation on Citizen Science, and the grand reopening of the renovated Nina Mason Pulliam Nature Center located in Allison Mansion.
Schuck has always been passionate about animals and their habitats that make up the environment. After completing her undergraduate degree, Schuck spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, Africa. Following her work with the Peace Corps, Schuck studied primates in Costa Rica before returning to the Indianapolis area. The EcoLab, the staff, and the opportunity to educate others of all ages attracted Schuck to Marian University’s campus.
Q & A with Stephanie Schuck
Q: What are some simple ways students, faculty, and staff can help the environment in their everyday lives?
A: I start with awareness of yourself. Awareness of trash that you accumulate and the amount of trash that goes out. When you put your trash out, it doesn’t just go away. It goes somewhere. Some energy has to be used to get rid of that. Also, be aware of how much water you use in the house. Turn the faucet off when you are brushing your teeth. What chemicals are you using on your lawn? Really it’s fairly simple things that we take for granted. We all slip a little bit, and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it, but we should be willing to make life changes. Changing a habit is not an easy thing, but you have to commit. Pick a couple if things, do those, and then try some others.
Q: What do you think is the importance of having the EcoLab on campus?
A: It is an amazing resource for everybody. Whether you are doing research down there, and that is your resource, or you had a really rough test, and you just need to listen to the birds, the EcoLab is for everyone. You don’t have to be a restoration ecologist to go and enjoy the EcoLab.
Q: If you were a Starbucks drink, what would you be and why?
A: I don’t have a favorite, but I wouldn’t be too sugary. Just a little bit of sugar.