Natasha Riccio has earned her Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies with a breadth in both Outdoor Recreation and Personal Wellness this May. Her senior project focused on sea turtle conservation in Bahia de Kino. She was initially inspired to start her education at Prescott College because of the opportunities to expand her learning through extensive fieldwork and hands-on learning. She came to love the community and the education so much that, “at the end of every summer I got so excited for classes to start again!” Natasha values being surrounded by people “who are all working towards making the world a better place.”
After talking with her friends who attend other schools, she has noticed how tight-knit the community of Prescott College is in comparison. Prescott College offers smaller student to faculty ratios than most universities, 7:1 on average. Natasha believes the small class sizes offer a higher quality of education for each student and “a more thorough understanding of the curriculum.”
The most meaningful part of her time at Prescott College was “the value of place-based learning and time in the field.” Many of her classes took day trips to explore a variety of ecosystems and landscapes. She also had the opportunity to spend a great deal of her education at the Kino Bay Center for Cultural Studies and Ecological Studies in Mexico. By the time Natasha graduated, she had spent over a year at the center because of the frequent block and semester courses offered. With a degree in Environmental Science, she believes it was especially important to have the core of her education centered in field studies.
The experiential educational experience of Prescott College has given Natasha a greater “sense of direction and purpose.” She recalled feeling “aimless and unsure of what to do with [her] life after high school”. Upon enrolling at Prescott College, she says that “she became inspired by her work and the work of those around her.” In an effort of making a difference in the world, Prescott College has given her “the knowledge and the skills [she] needs to pursue a lifestyle and a career that will serve the environment.” She has applied her knowledge and skills to conservation work and environmental education. “I see conservation work as a way to directly aid the environment, and environmental education as a way to spread my knowledge, help children foster connections with nature, and continue creating positive change.”