Clark University student spends summer assessing water demand in Mongolia
WORCESTER, Mass.—Oyut Amarjargal, a rising senior at Clark University, recently completed a spatio-temporal assessment of environmental water demand in her home country of Mongolia with funding from Clark’s Liberal Education and Effective Practice (LEEP) initiative.
Amarjargal used remotely sensed and field-observed data of Khanbogd, Mongolia, to evaluate the potential future environmental implications of mining projects on pastoral nomadism and the local community.
“The problems associated with both climate change and broader environmental degradation, such as water shortages and land use, are just several of the many issues Mongolia faces in this era of globalization. For me, these changes are deeply personal, as Mongolia is my home country. I care deeply about both environmental sustainability and the societal ramifications of these dramatic changes, and I feel that environmentally-minded growth is important in terms of securing an equitable and sustainable future for my country,” wrote Amarjargal.
Amarjargal said that a nation’s vitality is not only based on GDP and economic statistics, but on “the well-being of its entire human community and the health of its ecosystems.”
Last year, Amarjargal received a Steinbrecher Fellowship for her research project, “Changing Ulaanbaatar through 24 Recycling Bags.”
“In the past year, I have become more and more sure about my passion for protecting the environment and nature. This has become an integral part of my life’s work, and I hope to create social change through education and activism,” she wrote. “I also seek to raise awareness in others, including Mongolians, of the necessity of preserving our precious environment and natural resources.”
Amarjargal is a member of the Class of 2017; she majors in geography and economics. Amarjargal serves as vice president of Net Impact, and she is a member of the Gamma Theta Upsilon and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies. Amarjargal is a graduate of the American School of Ulaanbaatar.
Liberal Education and Effective Practice (LEEP) is Clark’s bold effort to advance liberal education, linking a deep and integrated curriculum with opportunities to put knowledge into practice in order to prepare students for remarkable careers and purposeful, accomplished lives.
Now in its fifth year, LEEP projects have helped Clark University students pursue funded and directed problem-based summer projects. The projects—several of which are hosted by Clark alumni—offer real-world application of course material and provide an opportunity to engage with professionals outside of the University. LEEP Projects also enable students to develop marketable skills, and focus on characteristics the University refers to as LEEP Learning Outcomes.
This summer, more than 100 undergraduates were awarded LEEP Fellowships to pursue projects ranging from international social action initiatives to internships with leading corporations. LEEP Fellows are expected to devote approximately 150 hours to their LEEP Project and participate in workshops on professionalism and project management. LEEP Fellows complete a written reflection upon completion of their experience, are able to participate in the Hervey Ross Oratorical Contest each fall, and share results with the Clark community in one of the University’s annual undergraduate student research showcases.
“Students who are selected as LEEP Fellows progress through a competitive and intensive series of preparatory activities designed to help them successfully complete their LEEP Projects. From proposal writing and résumé development, to professional communication and research skills, the LEEP Fellow experience helps prepare students to fully engage in the world and integrate their academic work with their professional interests,” said Michelle Bata, director of the LEEP Center at Clark.
Founded in 1887 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark University is a liberal arts-based research university addressing social and human imperatives on a global scale. Nationally renowned as a college that changes lives, Clark is emerging as a transformative force in higher education today. LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark’s pioneering model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences. Clark’s faculty and students work across boundaries to develop solutions to complex challenges in the natural sciences, psychology, geography, management, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. The Clark educational experience embodies the University’s motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.