UK Grad Prepares to Sail the South Pacific

By Whitney Harder

(Dec. 17, 2015) — After commencement, many University of Kentucky graduates prepare to enter the workforce or graduate school. Jessica Meyer is instead preparing to sail across the South Pacific.

Meyer, an environmental and sustainable studies major, will head to Antigua first for a few months learning how to sail charting yachts. Once she's mastered the skill, her journey from the Caribbean to New Zealand will begin in the spring.

This trip of a lifetime will be more than an exhilarating adventure — although it will undoubtedly be that — it will also be an opportunity for Meyer to build on the knowledge she's acquired through her degree. With small islands as her rest stops, Meyer will blog about indigenous communities and traditional ecological knowledge.

"Who knows, this could lead me to a passionate master's thesis one day," she said.

Meyer, from Walton, Kentucky, first developed a love for nature and a curiosity for sustainable environments when her neighbors’ 200 acre-farm was turned into an industrial suburb.

"That curiosity, and perhaps longing, led me to my degree of environmental and sustainability studies," Meyer said.

Throughout her college career, she has immersed herself in that curiosity. Last summer, she guided elementary school students through a variety of outdoor educational and survival activities. And in her third semester at UK, she studied abroad in New Zealand, which included traversing mountains, exploring caves and kayaking fjords. Since then, she’s been planning her return.

"Jessi has terrific insight and has been a constant source of inspiration," said David Atwood, professor of chemistry and director of the Environmental and Sustainable Studies Program. "She has been a treasured student." 

Enter your linkblue username.
Enter your linkblue password.
Secure Login

This login is SSL protected