Meet Tarita Roy Choudhury
Degree: BA Environmental Studies and Sustainability ’19 + MS Urban Strategy ’19
Extracurricular activities: Pennoni Honors College
Awards and Grants: DAAD Research Internship for Science and Engineering (RISE) scholarship, Drexel Global Scholars scholarship, Sea Education Associate (SEA) Semester merit grant, Dean’s List, two travel awards from the Office of International Programs
What kind of research are you interested in?
I am interested in urban coastal communities and how they are building resilience against climate change, and other environmental issues associated with it. There is so much that we can learn from local and traditional knowledge systems in terms of adaptation and mitigation measures for climate change.
I am also interested in the effects of national or international policies on the local level, and how nature-based solutions can be used to increase resiliency and enhance community development. My thesis topic, concerning the fisheries and fisherfolk communities in urban Kolkata, India, is very much related to this line of research, and I am excited to see where it goes!
What were some of your most memorable travel experiences through Drexel?
My abroad program with SEA Semester in the fall of 2016 was the most unique travel and educational experience I’ve had. We studied environmental sustainability in the Polynesian Islands and sailed the South Pacific for six weeks, with port stops in American Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and finally, Auckland, New Zealand. I remember seeing whales — and even the occasional shark — swim alongside our ship.
We conducted science experiments and collected data on marine life and our physical surroundings — even in the middle of the night, guided by the light of the stars. And that’s not to mention all the snorkeling we got to do during port stops!
I also spent three months interning at Hafencity University in Hamburg, Germany through the DAAD-RISE program. I was studying Strategic Environmental Assessments and their relation to the German land use planning system, while also comparing the German system to other European Union countries. It was a great experience to live in another city and experience a different culture and way of living!
What has made your experience at Drexel special or unique?
The flexible course offerings, and the opportunity to add a Master’s in Urban Strategy during my junior year, helped me to create an experience that is unique to me and my passions. I was able to combine my interest in cities and urban areas with my interests in environmental studies and advocacy. I can now use my knowledge to understand how different communities interact with their environments.
Why would you recommend the BEES program at Drexel for undergraduates?
The BEES department is extremely supportive of its students and their interests. Because there are different majors within the department, the variety of classes offered is incredible. Students can explore different interests and fields of study. Moreover, the professors and advisers really care about the students’ success. Because of this nurturing environment, I have had a unique undergraduate experience at Drexel.