Blair van Pelt decided she wanted to study a master program involving plants and people. “I came to the Wageningen University open days about 4 years ago while I was doing an internship at Leiden University in a plant chemistry lab. While working in the lab, I realized that I really love plants and that I want to work with people as well, so working in the lab wasn’t really my thing. Therefore, I wanted to find a master program that gave me the option to be in a plant field but focus on people and education. The master Organic Agriculture was a perfect fit. First, I had to finish my bachelor program in agricultural education in the United States, before I could come to Wageningen."
So far, Blair really likes her study program. “I feel like there is a lot of flexibility, which allows me to focus on the courses where I feel I will learn the most. This way, there isn’t too much overlap with my previous study, I am just adding new knowledge.” Two of Blair’s favorite courses were Empowerment for Sustainability and Applied Environmental Education. “These courses allowed me to connect my passion for environmental education with my course work, which made me highly motivated.”
During her master, Blair decided to specialize in Consumer and Market specialization within Organic Agriculture. “I chose this specialization because it is more social science dominant and because I want to work in education, developing curricula and garden education programs. I will also be working on the natural science side of things, because I want to be a teaching assistant for courses within the master Organic Agriculture.”
Blair also enjoys living in Wageningen. “The biggest difference between living in the US and the Netherlands is the fact that I can be car free without feeling trapped. I am in love with my bicycles. In addition to this, I can finally get affordable health care, which makes me feel a greater sense of security. I do however miss the mountains and big open landscapes but hey, I am counting my blessings living here.”
In the future, Blair dreams of having an urban farm school. “This is more of a long term plan. In the short term, after finishing my studies, I would like to work at the WUR as a teaching assistant to get more teaching experience. I also have the dream of designing an educational demonstration garden for WUR and have thought a lot about doing a PhD here.”