“Our world does not change by sitting and waiting for better days. It changes when we speak up, take action, and become the change.”
2024 Top 30 Under 30
What specific issue(s) are you taking on, and what inspires you to do so?
The issues I am currently tackling are at the intersection of earth and climate-related research and the challenges that folks face while trying to pursue it. Largely this work is focused on making the geosciences more inclusive for racial minorities, 2SLBGTQIA+ individuals, and women, all groups that have historically been underrepresented. My focus specifically has been on changing procedures and protocols and raising awareness about making these research environments more welcoming. Furthermore, through my outreach work I aim to demonstrate the depth and breadth that the geosciences have to offer and that there is space for all to do meaningful research. Some examples of this research include my own thesis project, looking at the downstream impacts of retreating glaciers in Alberta.
What does climate change or climate justice mean to you? To your work?
In many ways, the current and future impacts of climate change have shaped my career up to this point. Much of my work and studies have focused on the complex interconnectedness of climate change and society. To me climate justice is ensuring that all people, especially the most vulnerable, are at the table when decisions about our future are made. Even more important and reflected in my efforts is that people from all backgrounds have access to knowledge and are welcome to study these systems that are at risk. We need all voices at the table, which means we need all voices in the classroom, at the podium, and in the books we read as we tackle climate change. Creating space for all voices to be at the table also means creating welcoming environments in the classroom for all to learn.
What advice do you have for other young people looking to get involved in sustainable development?
Start small and in the communities you know! Find a group of people that will champion the changes you hope to see. Even small changes can make a huge difference.
Holly volunteering with Earth Science for Society and talking to the public about getting involved in the geosciences at the University of Calgary.
Holly demonstrating the use of a topography sandbox to teach about landforms at the University of Calgary.
Holly crossing Peyto Creek while doing research on the impacts of glacial retreat.