Jacqueline is a senior in New York City. Living part time in Long Island, surrounded by agriculturally-purposed land, she is passionate and curious about sustainable food systems and emerging technologies in farming. She has worked in farms and volunteers at community gardens.
In 2022, Jacqueline worked with the head of NYU’s Dept. of Environmental Studies, Dr. Christopher Schlottmann, to research the environmental impacts of various farming methods in order to analyze local farming’s impact and access to these systems.
Following her research, Jacqueline authored a research paper based on her interviews with local farmers in Long Island exploring the relationship between a farmer’s limited finances and their responsibility and desire to protect the environment.
She is also the policy chair for a young-adult run organization called Teens for Trees, which aims to raise awareness about the effect that New York City’s trees have on our climate, population health, and social systems.
Outside of her interest in agriculture, Jacqueline is an avid science writer and editor for her school’s STEM newspaper Polaris as well as a competitive squash player, competing nationally and internationally.
We asked Jacqueline Brennan a few questions to get to know her better—here’s what she shared:
⛰Where is the best destination you’ve been to and why?
I was fortunate enough to travel to Peru to see Machu Picchu, an abandoned 15th century Inca citadel. From the vast agricultural terraces to the multitudinous llamas, Machu Picchu took my breath away. I was especially fascinated by the Inca’s crop irrigation systems; they built channels within the terraces to collect and direct rainwater to the crops.
🧞♂️ If you had one wish to improve the world, what would you change?
I would wish that everyone develops and honors emotional and cognitive empathy. I believe the ability to empathize and understand one another could be an incredibly powerful driver for societal-amelioration; if everyone had empathy for one another, world peace may be within reach.
🏝 What 3 things would you take to a Desert Island?
Ooh, I would choose a satellite phone with a solar charger, a GPS receiver, and a pizza.
With the intention of leaving the island as quickly as possible, I would need a satellite phone and GPS receiver to communicate with others to retrieve me from my unknown location. The pizza, on the other hand, would be for me to eat and enjoy while I wait for someone to pick me up.
📚 Which books do you recommend to others?
I think everyone should read Beloved by Toni Morrison and The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli. Both of these texts oppose one another, as one promotes love over fear, and the other promotes fear over love. Reading these novels throughout my formative years has undoubtedly shaped the way I think about myself and others. I still grapple with the question: Is it better to be feared or loved?
❤️ Name three self-care practices you have adopted to treat yourself well
Going for a walk throughout my neighborhood in downtown Brooklyn, making myself home-made pasta, and watching Pride and Prejudice–the 2005 version, of course.