The University of Texas at Austin
School of Undergraduate Studies
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Lauren Ayers

Lauren Ayers
Major: 
History
BDP Certificate: 
Environment
Graduation: 
Spring 2011

I am a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, pursuing an advanced degree in history.

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

“And as an environmental historian, I incorporate theories and methodologies from surrounding disciplines.”

Discuss your general career path since graduating from UT.

After graduating from the University of Texas, I joined the Peace Corps. I served as an agroforestry volunteer in Cameroon for six months before becoming ill and returning home to Texas. Upon my return, I worked as a part-time research consultant for a history professor at Rice University, and later applied to doctoral programs.

How did your BDP experience influence your career path and interests?

My experience in the BDPs reminded me how important environmental studies were to my career path. After the Peace Corps, although I returned to history, I kept the environment as an integral part of my journey back to the academy. Environmental history is innately interdisciplinary. And as an environmental historian, I incorporate theories and methodologies from surrounding disciplines. My studies align with the work I started and explored at the University of Texas.

What do you value most about your BDP experience?

The Environment BDP was the first program that encouraged me to step outside of my major department. I credit the BDP for