Melanie Fox-Chen is an undergraduate biology student in her fourth year at McMaster University. Her undergraduate thesis focuses on cancer research but she is also interested in sustainability and conservation projects. In her spare time, she likes to volunteers with animals and travel. Through The Starfish, Melanie hopes to inform her peers on relevant environmental issues and inspire them to protect their planet.
When did you realize that you had a passion for the environment? What made you realize it?
My appreciation for the environment is rooted within my childhood. Growing up, I spent summers at my cottage where I would spend most of my time outside canoeing, hiking and swimming. This was the perfect setting for me to learn the importance and beauty of nature.
Do you have a favourite Starfish article? What makes it so special to you?
One of my favourite articles is 'Conservation Photography: Another way to (Literally) See the World’. I like this article because it discusses how powerfully photographs can communicate with people, reconnect them with nature and inspire them to take action in conservation issues.
If you could focus your energy on one issue facing the environment today, what would it be? How would you do it?
I would focus my energy on protecting marine ecosystems. Oceans are significantly less protected than terrestrial environments. I think this is partly because marine ecosystems are less visible to the human eye than terrestrial environments and so most of the destruction goes unnoticed. In order to help, I would begin by raising awareness on this issue through social media campaigns.
Do you have any green new year resolutions for 2013?
Yes, I am starting to make sustainable seafood choices.
What would you like to see the Starfish accomplish this year?
I would like to see The Starfish gain a broader audience and engage its readers through community outreach programs.