Backcountry Engineering

Scholarship Entrant: Michaela from Santa Cruz, California
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Michaela: 0

Having a passion in my major, civil engineering, is something I am grateful for. One of my other favorite things to do is being outdoors backpacking, hiking, and exploring. Mixing these two passions together crafts a very unique job. I would be able to both work abroad and in the United States. My work in the USA would involve working with rangers to retrofit and build trails, retaining walls, and bridges in places like National Parks and wilderness areas. In years with a lot of snow or rain, trails and bridges can be washed out which leaves hikers and backpackers in an unsafe position where they could get lost or have to cross a dangerous creek or river. Similarly, my work abroad would consist of helping people who live in rural or inaccessible places with their infrastructure. For example, in Nepal, many people live in villages that are only accessible by foot. These people need to have access to clean water, sturdy houses to live in, and safe bridges for travelling into cities or to neighboring villages. There are a lot of preventable deaths and injuries due to buildings or bridges collapsing and people ingesting contaminated water. Engineering provides a way to make where people live and travel safer while the love of nature makes working in rural or accessible only by foot places more fun. Combining these two passions will create a career that I will never want to stop doing.

Vote for Michaela: 0

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