senior spotlight: katie yin ’24

Hi, Katie! What are your majors and how have you combined them here at Wes?
My double major is economics and environmental studies. My interest in environmental studies started because I grew up in China during the time when pollution was much worse than it is today. I really wanted to do something about it, so that got me interested in my high school’s environmental organizations. And that interest continued in college. Then, later on, I chose to major in economics because I learned about the carbon cap and trade systems and the carbon tax. And I feel that if we want to solve our environmental issues, we need to look out how they’re intertwined with our economic system.

Tell us about your senior project.
I’m actually writing about carbon commodities because if you think about it, normally commodities, like livestock or wheat or something, we consume as the product. But carbon as a commodity, it’s a byproduct. So it’s weird to think about how people could buy carbon in that way. I want to look at who wants to commodify it, and how it’s regulated. Looking into the Kyoto Protocol and the EU cap and trade system. 

Did you have a favorite environmental class here at Wesleyan?
I really liked Climate Change Economics and Policy with Jennifer Raynor, because it explored the economics and science behind climate change, which is a really cool perspective. 

What advice would you offer Wes students interested in pursuing the environmental studies linked major with their primary major or majors?
I think learning about theories is nice, but I think joining campus clubs really puts theories into action and can make you feel less helpless. My freshman year I joined the Climate Action Group, which then merged with Sunrise Movement Wesleyan. And then later I was an eco-facilitator, which was really interesting because as eco-facilitators we received funds to do our own projects and collaborate with a lot of the school’s stakeholders.

What are your post-Wes plans?
I’ll be working in Chicago, in institutional retirement fund management, and I hope later to get into something related to green carbon or green environment investing.