Student Spotlight: Jack Green

Jack Green, Undergraduate Junior, Coastal Environmental Science

Hometown: Lake Charles, LA     

High School: Alfred M. Barbe High

 photo of jack greenw writing in a notebook

Undergraduate junior Jack Green is combining his love of politics and environmental sustainability while gaining real-world experience with environmental policy in the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities. Green is double-majoring in both coastal environmental science, within the College of the Coast & Environment, or CC&E, and political science, within Humanities & Social Sciences, in addition to being named one of two LSU students to receive the national 2018 Udall Scholarship and being an LSU Distinguished Communicator. This unique background has afforded him the opportunity to participate in the Louisiana Service and Leadership Scholars program, or LASAL, within the Ogden Honors College.

LASAL provides academic courses and practical experience that supplement students’ fields of study and especially prepares students for leadership in public service, social justice, and environmental sustainability. As part of the curriculum, LASAL scholars must complete a semester-long internship. Green is the first LASAL scholar to secure an internship in the Louisiana Office of Coastal Activities.

“I have always been interested in environmental policy. And, we hadn't really had someone in the LASAL program before who went down that specific path. But, when I was looking for places to go to, that seems like the best option,” Green said.

In particular, Green is thankful for CC&E’s Applied Coastal Environmental Sciences concentration, offered within the Coastal Environmental Science undergraduate degree program, for allowing him to pursue a unique path in coastal policymaking.

“This program is really perfect for me, especially being in Baton Rouge, and Louisiana, because there’s a lot of opportunity here for that kind of career. And, this internship has given me a lot of hands-on, real-world experience that I've learned about theoretically in my classes,” Green said. 

Green shadows Charles Sutcliffe, the director of policy and programs in the Office of Coastal Activities, attending events such as a recent Public Affairs Research Council workshop that brought together some of Louisiana’s coastal stakeholders to discuss possible constitutional amendments to coastal funding in the likelihood of a constitutional convention. Green also supported the Center for Planning Excellence workshop, organized by Governor Edwards, that addressed all state agencies, including non-coastal groups such as health, the division of administration, and transportation, about how to “think coastal” when building their infrastructure or undertaking planning exercises for their departments. For that workshop, Green gathered data and analyzed how other states are handling their own environmental issues, such as fires in California and droughts in Colorado, and created a report of his findings.

“Jack has a great energy and spirit about him. Each assignment or meeting was met with enthusiasm and the appropriate level of seriousness and attention to detail. It was fun for me to be able to show him the messy, imperfect process of translating big policy ideas to real world applications,” Sutcliffe said.

After graduation, Green plans to pursue a master’s degree in public policy.

“Because of these experiences, I'll have a better understanding of what I do and don't need to know to be an effective policy operator,” Green said.