Alumni Stories

Janet I. Buchanan (C’10)

Upon graduation from Principia College with a BA in Environmental Studies, Janet (Irvine) Buchanan found her love for scientific research and environmental advocacy leading her toward graduate studies. She recently completed a Natural Resources and Environment master’s degree program at the University of Michigan, where she focused on environmental policy. 

“I am particularly interested in the intersection of political, business, and environmental concerns, and in finding the best way to manage decision-making processes to solve ecological problems,” Janet says. “My courses at Principia led me to this interest through practical study and field work. I learned how to read scientific papers and identify whether the scientific premise was sound. My favorite part of the major was probably the field trips—for example, identifying fish and mussels in the Mississippi River, canoeing through the cypress swamps of southern Illinois, and surveying forest structure in the Great Smoky Mountains. Being on the ground (or in the water!) made the natural resource issues so real and approachable.”