I am a sophomore environmental science major at the University of Utah. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, I did not have extensive access to outdoor activities nearby, but I always loved nature and spending time outside. Since moving to Utah, I have spent my time exploring the state’s breathtaking scenery through hiking, climbing, snowboarding and camping. Another passion of mine is the artistic medium of ceramics. During high school, I spent more time in the ceramics studio than in class. I often centered my work on concepts I cared most about, including the environment and mindfulness. My first piece, measuring about 10 inches in height, depicts my interpretation of Mother Nature as she holds and mourns the dying earth. Prior to glazing this piece, I painted on an underglaze in an attempt to give the earth a decaying color. After firing, the color turned very bright and vibrant, as if giving new life to the globe. My second piece is a one foot-long hanging mandala wall sculpture. I often found myself sketching mandalas in notebooks as a form of meditation and decided to recreate one of my favorite ones in a ceramic form.