Lorenzo Contreras

What are your majors? Environmental science, certificates in environmental studies and Chican@ Latin@ studies

Expected graduation: May 2021

What inspired your interest in the environment and/or community? Within communities I’ve spent time in, including my own, it’s been rare to find a person (much less a group of people) that realize the importance behind our ecosystems and the role they play for our society. Being able to see these connections is necessary in order to be able to appreciate nature and everything it provides for us along with all other living organisms. I grew up in a home where all these things were appreciated, and it made me realize how much it meant to me and made me want to play a role in the conservation of these environments.

In the world we live in today there’s a declining number of resources we have at our disposal and not enough focus on those that are renewable. Eventually our useable water will deplete which is unfortunate as this resource is needed for an infinite amount of reasons which is why I find water treatment of extreme importance. You can be someone trying to make a change from an office but there’s nothing like making the change hands on.

What would you say (or do you say) to other students about CESP and the Nelson Institute? For those that ask about the Nelson Institute; it’s a hive of minds coming together to push towards a common goal of a sustainable and protected environment. The Nelson Institute confronts the challenge that is brought upon us by the rapidly changing world through intersections of classroom learning and community engagement. This is the place to be if you want to make a change.

Something few people know about you: I was born in California but moved to Milwaukee at a young age. My parents worked hard after they came from Mexico but wanted a better future for my siblings and I. That is how we ended up here in Wisconsin.

Something else about you? I am extremely interested in water treatment. This is something that is going to blow up in the years to come just because the way that countries like the U.S. are exploiting resources. It’s bizarre to me how something necessary to live cannot be provided to everyone in the world and is something that has to be paid for. I know there exists something that can be done and by joining CESP I know my fellow CESPers and I will be able to solve these kinds of problems.