“If you have an idea that could help you learn about yourself or academia or anything, you can make it happen at Washington College,” said Spencer Case ‘08. “People are willing to help you through the process of having your idea come to life,”
Spencer, a member of the Psi Chi honor society for psychology majors and the Douglass Cater Society for Junior Fellows, has seen several of his ideas come into being during his time at Washington College. A graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, Spencer helped found the College’s Wilderness Adventure Club and, with Dr. Michael Harvey, helped to develop a course in Outdoor Leadership that emphasizes problem-solving and teamwork.
Last summer, in an effort to encourage people to stop smoking, Spencer and three other WC studentsbiked across the U.S., as part of an “independently-designed service expedition.”
“A lot of people followed us on our Web site and signed the online petition promising they would quit,” he said.
Spencer’s next project could be his most ambitious thus far. He is part of a small group of college students who are planning to create a non-profit organization called POLAR (Preventing Offshore Litter in the Antarctic Region) to help end the practice of dumping garbage in Antarctic waters.
Spencer met the other students on his trip to Antarctica this winter with Quark Expeditions. He studied photography, researched the environmental effects of international fishing, and witnessed the practice of ocean dumping firsthand. Because ports charge boats to offload their waste, the boats simply dump it into the water off the Antarctic coast.
“We saw dumping for miles off the back of our boat,” Spencer said. “It’s really sad because Antarctica is the last pristine environment. With the POLAR organization, we’re going to attempt to recycle the garbage that would otherwise be dumped in the ocean.”