Name: Lanie Karstrom
Hometown: Summerville, S.C.
Year in School: Junior
Major: Marine Science
Minor: Environmental Science
We need young people who want to make the world a better place, both culturally and environmentally. Lanie Karstrom, a junior marine science student from Summerville, S.C., is doing her part on both fronts. A unique individual who loves everyone and strives to make people laugh, she also has an appreciation for the beauty of the natural world and a drive to protect it.
Taking a marine science class in high school was enough to get Lanie acquainted with the program at CCU. Calling herself an “aspiring naturalist,” she knew that Coastal would provide her with the education and resources she needed to pursue her passions. Upon arriving on campus, she learned that Coastal would also provide her with extracurricular opportunities needed to nurture her interests.
Aside from her marine science curriculum and the beautiful slice of nature she has to explore in the Grand Strand area, she became involved with Sustain Coastal, the campus group that aims to take care of the earth while educating others on how to do the same. Lanie organizes sustainability based programs and helps out with the on-campus recycling program. She also co-founded the CCU chapter of Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots, a club that offers opportunities for students to become involved with environmental education and outreach.
“I feel I have been provided some really awesome tools to develop my love for science,” Lanie says when discussing her education at CCU, adding that her time on campus has given her career direction as well.
That career direction has taken the form of an advanced degree. Lanie would like to attend graduate school and research ecosystem science, specifically within forest ecosystems. Whatever institution she chooses to further her education, she will most likely seek the same community-based, “everybody knows everybody” atmosphere of Coastal. Her personality is simply made for special places like #TEALnation.
“I am overly passionate, I love everybody and I think that’s a characteristic you don’t see a lot nowadays,” Lanie explains.
We look forward to watching this outdoorswoman make a difference and we thank her for caring about both the planet and its people.
Q&A with Lanie
How did you hear about Coastal?: I took a marine science course in high school so it was really easy for me to hear about state schools that offered a marine science program.
Why did you come to Coastal?: I came to Coastal for a few reasons. Most importantly, I heard about the amazing marine science program. I also wanted some distance from home while still staying in the state. I also appreciate the fact that we are so close to the beach!
Favorite professor: Erin Parker, Ph.D., of the chemistry department. She is overwhelmingly kind and is one of the few professors I have met that is willing to go above and beyond for students.
Favorite class: My favorite class so far has been the long-term Climate and Landscape Change class with Eric Wright, Ph.D. I learned so much about the geological processes that affect climate as well as how climate affects changes in landscape. This gave me a more rounded view on how our planet is affected by climatic and geologic change.
Favorite aspect of Coastal?: I love the community I have found within the marine science program. The professors are more than approachable and they are extremely knowledgeable in the subjects they profess. The program also fosters a community of students who genuinely care about not only the ocean, but the natural world altogether.
Favorite aspect of living in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area?: I love the amount of community groups within the Conway/Myrtle Beach area that allow citizens within the community to get involved with outdoor oriented programming. This includes community clean ups and environmental events!
Clubs/Intramurals/other extracurricular activities involved in?: I am president and co-founder of the CCU chapter of Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots, which is an environmental/sustainability based club that offers opportunities for students to get involved in environmental education and outreach, on campus and off!
Do you work anywhere currently (either on or off campus)?: I work as an EcoRep for Sustain Coastal. This means I am a peer educator tasked with promoting sustainable living. EcoReps also organize sustainability based programs like Pop-Up Thrift Shop and Weigh the Waste! I also work for Sustain Coastal as a Green Team member, which is the on-campus recycling program.
Plans after graduation?: I would like to take some time off to visit the National Parks across the United States, but my overall plan is to attend graduate school and to research ecosystem science, specifically within forest ecosystems.
What are your hobbies?: I love to spend time hiking, kayaking, camping and playing guitar.
Do you have any hidden talents?: I am an aspiring naturalist. I spend a lot of time outdoors identifying different species, specifically plants, amphibians and reptiles.
Bonus Info: I really want to teach people to appreciate the diversity and beauty of the natural world, and most importantly teach them why it is so essential to protect it.