Student Hope Springer: A Leader in Sustainability
Macie Nessi, Environmental Management and Protection, ‘22
Hope Springer (Environmental Management and Protection, ‘22) is driven by a desire to make a positive environmental impact and educate others about sustainability. An advocate for increasing sustainability on and off campus, Springer pursued a double minor in indigenous studies in natural resources and the environment and sustainable agriculture.
With the goal of helping Cal Poly transition to a greener campus, Springer developed a project to provide all incoming freshmen with a set of reusable utensils to reduce single-use plastic waste. As the students learned about the harmful effects of using plastic items once versus using reusable items, they were more inclined to cut down on waste by repeatedly reusing the utensils and transitioning to other reusable items.
Springer’s passion led her to serve as secretary of the Sustainability for Associated Students Inc. She is now an intern with the Green Campus Team, planning student leadership summits and hosting sustainability roundtables in which Cal Poly community members are encouraged to come together to discuss efforts for campus sustainability and equity movements.
Springer also served as a research assistant at Cal Poly’s Swanton Pacific Ranch, where she was part of team developing a sustainability plan for the ranch. In this capacity, she interviewed more than 30 people and conducted multiple site visits to assess how user needs might interface with sustainability opportunities and challenges.
Springer and other students analyzed the data to develop a proposed sustainability plan for the ranch. She said the position is a dream job because she gets to be a part of something that's so much bigger than herself. Now with the project complete, it will help guide future ranch operations by helping balance the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability. In turn, the plan will positively impact the land itself, workers at Swanton Pacific Ranch and community members who will all get to reap the benefits.
Springer finished her undergraduate degree in spring 2022. She plans to build her leadership skills and continue her work in the sustainability field, which includes returning to Cal Poly in fall 2022 to pursue a master’s degree in environmental sciences management.
Read more stories in the Summer 2022 Newsletter