Lucas Dykstra

Class Year

’16

Hometown

Holland, Michigan

Major(s)

Environmental Science

Minor(s)

Biology and Religion

Lucas Dykstra ’16 used to spend his time hiking through the woods and creating bug-fighting colosseums. Now? He’s taking a more academic approach to his studies.

As an environmental science major from Holland, Michigan, Lucas hopes to go into forest ecology and restoration after graduation. “If you enjoy being outdoors and learning about the interactions within nature, then you will love environmental science. Not only that, you will learn about present day issues such as pollution and climate change, and understand the science behind them,” he said.

At Carthage, Lucas is involved in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and is part of the men’s soccer team. He also had an internship with Faith Acres Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides food, clothing, and other services to low-income families. In his role, he identified plants on the property and researched edible uses for them. He also helped out with daily operations in the food pantry, and small-scale agriculture.

When choosing a favorite memory at Carthage, Lucas said he had a hard time choosing just one. “I have a whole flood of [memories] that are being added to on a daily basis. From being ridiculous with close friends, to philosophical discussions with professors, there are many memories that I have from Carthage.”

“I have a whole flood of [memories] that are being added to on a daily basis. From being ridiculous with close friends, to philosophical discussions with professors, there are many memories that I have from Carthage.”

Lucas Dykstra, ’16

Career goal

“I am hoping to go into forest ecology and restoration after graduation.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

Tracy Gartner has had a huge impact on my education. Her classes tend to be very difficult, but if you put in the effort, you will learn so much. She has helped me realize that you always have to approach things from different angles in order to fully understand an issue or a topic.”

Favorite class

“I think my favorite class was Introduction to Ecology (BIO 2200). I love learning about interactions between organisms within an ecosystem. Being able to do that in a way that is hands-on is very beneficial.”

Campus involvement

“I have been a part of the men’s soccer team for the past three years. I am also a leader in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.”

Toughest class

Field Botany (ENVL 400H) was my toughest class. The class required a lot of heavy scientific literature, and trying to collect plants in November turns out to be pretty difficult.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I did an internship for Faith Acres Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that provides food, clothing, and many other goods/services to low income families. They are also in the process of creating an educational farm on their 7-acre plot of land. My job was to identify plants that I could find on the property and research edible uses for them. I also helped out with daily operations in the food pantry and with small-scale agriculture.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“I don’t necessarily have one memory that stands out. I have a whole flood of them that are being added to on a daily basis. From being ridiculous with close friends, to philosophical discussions with professors, there are many memories that I have from Carthage.”

Favorite spot on campus

“I don’t want to give it away, but there is a small bench behind the Fritsch Meditation Chapel. It is sort of tucked away in the woods and is always a great relaxing spot for me to read and think.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise was the adjustment. As an incoming freshman, most people, like myself, are on their own for the first time. I really had to think about what it was that I stood for, and develop my own values and morals.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“My 8-year-old self would say I’m right on track. Back then I was hiking through the woods and creating bug-fighting colosseums. Now, I am taking a more academic approach to my studies.”

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

“I would suggest that you really think about what sort of field you want to be in. Environmental Science is pretty broad, and having it narrowed down can really help you determine what classes you will need to take in order to get where you want to be.”