Udall Undergraduate Scholarship
Meet Our Scholars - Alumni Spotlights - Wieteke Holthuijzen
I believe that if you love something, you have a duty to protect it; but to love something, you must first understand it.
This is why I chose to study environmental science.
Originally a native of Boise, Idaho, I graduated from the University of Idaho (UI) in spring 2014 with a Bachelor of Science
in environmental science (biological sciences emphasis) with minors in French and wildlife resources.
From my freshman year, I worked with the UI Sustainability Center (UISC) in various roles: as a UISC Student-Led Grant Recipient;
Projects Coordinator; and finally, Director. I initiated and supported projects that reduced the University's environmental
footprint and increased participation and collaboration among students, faculty, staff, and community members in addressing
sustainability- related issues. I spearheaded several projects: most notably, I organized the installation of water bottle
refill stations on the University of Idaho campus; planned and led Sustainable Cooking Classes ("Good Eatings") for students
living in various residence halls; and developed and hosted the UIdeas Symposium, an evening of inspirational and insightful
presentations focused on sustainability. The accomplishment I’m most proud of was working with numerous UI faculty and staff
to develop a series of campus-wide sustainable food systems, commitments that emphasize increasing purchases of locally and
regionally grown and raised food (especially from student organizations) that were incorporated into the next University of
Idaho Campus Dining Provider contract.
The environment, though, is not a simple thing to study, and neither are the scientists who study it! Beyond working on
sustainability projects on campus, I am interested in a variety of topics such as avian ecology, biogeography, and the slow-food
movement. In my summers between semesters, I spent time in Missouri, New York, and Arizona as an avian field tech and assisted on
research projects ranging from long-term effects of timber harvest on avian biodiversity, to the composition and dynamics of avian
dusk chorus communities. When I have time to spare, I enjoy playing my cello; creating funny art and unique jewelry; and exploring
the beautiful, wild state of Idaho.