Getting to Know Dorish Nguyen

Hello! My name is Dorish and I am currently a freshman at Penn State University Park with an intended major of aerospace engineering. I was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, where the University of Notre Dame is located. I have lived here my entire life until recently when I decided to make the trek to State College, Pennsylvania in order to be here at Penn State. Currently, I am a part of Phi Sigma Rho sorority and currently serve as fundraising chair. I chose to study aerospace engineering because I truly feel like I can make a difference in the world. I joined this course due to its description for being a “geographic perspective on sustainability and human environment systems,” which I believe fits the interest of what I want to do in aerospace engineering. I am very interested in air and space craft and believe that as an engineer, I can hopefully eventually work for Boeing and develop better aircrafts and combat climate change. Airplanes burn a lot of fossil fuels, thus releasing a lot pollutants into the atmosphere. Therefore, by taking this course I hope to understand the earth better in order to create efficient and less wasteful airplanes one day.

Recently on the news, I have been seeing a lot of articles on Flint, Michigan’s tap water and how it has become toxic to the point of crisis. What happened was that there was a financial emergency in Flint, so the state decided to switch Flint’s water supply line from Lake Huron to the Flint River as a “cost-saving” measure, which turned out to be very corrosive. Geography fits this situation well, because geography does not just entail maps but as I learned, also includes human-environment interactions and politics. The Flint River would not have been so polluted had humans taken care of it, and the government should have implemented environmental policy in order to control the human impact on the Flint River. The topic of human environment interactions poses the question of “how does the natural environment shape, control, and constrain human systems?” The instance of the Flint water crisis sheds light on this question where the health of the Flint River has caused many citizens of Flint to suffer due to the inaccessibility to clean tap water. This situation is an eye-opener to how humans need to become more sustainable in order to have clean water systems so when times come when they need to access a certain water source, that water source is not deemed toxic like in the case of Flint, Michigan.