Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Alisa Novitskaya: agricultural science

Alisa+Novitskaya%3A+agricultural+science

From sophomore-year summer to senior-year winter, Alisa Novitskaya volunteered at the Stanford Educational Forum, planting vegetables in the fall and harvesting the crops in the summer. This opportunity opened her eyes to sustainable and organic agriculture and guided her decision to major in agricultural science.

“I was learning from students that are agricultural and environmental science students at Stanford,” she said. “They come from all over the place and have different perspectives on everything, and it’s just really interesting to listen to while doing mundane tasks like weeding.”

Novitskaya grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and often visited countryside farms with her family. Moving to California showed her the importance of agriculture as a system.

“A lot of people didn’t realize how important it is here because a lot of people are focused on tech and not really on a more traditional or not-as-fancy sort of profession,” Novitskaya said. “But I think it’s really important.”

Over the years, Novitskaya has explored various perspectives on agriculture through volunteering, going abroad, and traveling with her family. Last summer, as part of a Council on International Educational Exchange program focused on climate change, she learned how Costa Rican people battle climate change through agriculture in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

“Seeing different farms of different countries, (I saw that) other countries are able to do (agriculture) sustainably,” she said. “So can we, but we aren’t really pushing towards that. I want to focus on the sustainable side of it and help other farmers make better choices that are more environmentally friendly.”

Through majoring in agricultural science at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Novitskaya hopes to learn more about the agricultural system in the U.S. and abroad.

“As people live in more urban areas, it’s harder to get fresh food and food deserts are a big problem,” she said. “Being able to assist people with getting fresh produce in a more environmentally friendly way would be really cool.”

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About the Contributor
Sophia Hwangbo
Sophia Hwangbo, Online Editor, Photographer
Senior Sophia Hwangbo is an online editor and photographer for The Oracle. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, playing tennis and spending time with family and friends.
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