Major: Environmental Economics and Policy
Minor: City and Regional Planning
Interests/Activities: running, playing soccer, baking cookies, sightseeing, and scrapbooking.
Hi my name is Caitlin Crooks and I am thrilled to be a PAL for my fourth and final year here at U.C. Berkeley. I was admitted to Cal as "undeclared" and ended up taking a wide array of courses, desperately trying to figure out what sparked my interest. However, almost 2 years went by and I still didn't have any idea what I wanted to study! I had taken courses in political science, history, comparative literature, business, and psychology but I just could not picture myself studying one of these subjects for the remainder of my college career. I was starting to panic because it seemed as though I was the only one who didn't have a focused field of study. However, that soon changed. One day while walking home after winning an intramural soccer game, I was chatting with a teammate of mine who was studying Environmental Economics and Policy (EEP) in the College of Natural Resources. He was raving about how unique the EEP classes were and how he had made some great friends through his major because students were very friendly and study groups were highly encouraged. I decided to check it out on the CNR website and soon realized that I would be a great fit for Environmental Economics! Through EEP courses I would have the opportunity to explore aspects of economics and political institutions that affect the development and management of natural resources and the environment. Since I was still unsure of what I career I wanted to pursue after graduation, it appeared that EEP would give me an extremely useful foundation for a wide variety of careers including environmental law, policy design, resource management, economics and business, due the range of material covered by the coursework in this major.
Yet beyond the academic benefits of the major, Environmental Economics has provided me the opportunity to establish meaningful relationships with both CNR faculty and my peers, something that was very important to me when selecting a university to attend. Over the course of my junior year I took on the role of "research apprentice" for a professor in the Environmental Economics department, where I experienced proposing economic hypotheses and testing them out in the local community. I enjoyed the work I did for this particular professor so much that I decided to take a class from her the following semester as well as convince my best friends to take the class! For the first time since high school I felt like I was truly integrating the three most important aspects of learning: faculty, academic material, and my peers. If it hadn't been for CNR and the tight-knit community Environmental Economics had to offer, I do not think I would have found the complete academic and fulfilling experience I had been searching for. So thank you EEP, thank you CNR, and thank you U.C. Berkeley!