Getting to Know You – James Sharer

Hey all. My name is James Sharer and I am a senior biology major at Penn State Main Campus. I’m from Downingtown, PA, which is about 3 hours from Penn State towards Philadelphia. I grew up with my parents, one older sister, and a multitude of dogs and parrots. I was recently accepted to a medical school in Philadelphia, and I am still waiting to hear back from multiple other schools. As for my career choice, I am very interested in many different specialties, but I don’t have to worry about making that decision for another 3 years or so. I’m excited to learn about the plethora of specialties that will be open to me after med school. I signed up for this course in order to satisfy my credit requirements so that I can graduate on time. Being a biology major, I have studied many topics that this course will touch on, so I thought it was a good fit for my interests.

I think that one of the most interesting and serious aspects of this course are human-environment interactions. Humans rely so heavily on their surrounding environments, that major changes in these environments often wreak havoc on the local population. One example, which was mentioned in the text, is the drought problems that California is facing. I spent this past summer in Venice Beach, California, and felt the effects of the drought. Driving to work in the mornings I would hear radio talk show hosts reminding people about conserving water, only to cut to a commercial break, which included helpful advice such as advising people not to water their lawns. Additionally, there were multiple instances where wildfires raged out of control, threatening people’s neighborhoods and homes. When I consider this situation in a geographical perspective, I cannot help but think about other countries in this world that may be facing similar problems. For example, the drought in California may seem bad to us because we have to cut back on water consumption, but at the same time a drought that is currently happening in Ethiopia on a much larger scale is taking hundreds of lives a day. There economic standing and local resources are much worse than California’s, making the drought in Ethiopia especially tough.

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