Harvard College senior and environmental activist Scot Miller has been named one of 12 national recipients of the 2007-08 George J. Mitchell Scholarship. The award will support Miller’s graduate work in environmental studies at Trinity College Dublin.
A native of Fargo, N.D., Miller is both a Truman Scholar and a Morris Udall Scholar, and now the fourth Harvard student to receive the Mitchell Scholarship since its 1998 inception.
“I think Ireland is a really interesting country right now for studying environmental science and environmental policy,” says Miller, a concentrator in the atmospheric sciences track in Earth and planetary sciences. “On one hand, Ireland has committed to the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas reductions. On the other hand, Ireland’s economy is among the fastest growing in the world, and because of this, they are predicted to hugely overshoot their Kyoto goals. Several countries in Europe have already reached their Kyoto Protocol targets, but it will be interesting to see what happens in Ireland because of the tension between their commitment to Kyoto and their rapid economic growth.”
At Harvard, Miller has been a tireless environmental activist and a fierce advocate for campus sustainability. He founded a Harvard student organization called Students for Clean Energy, which lobbied the University to commit to renewable energy. Harvard’s ultimate embrace of renewable energy won it the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Award in 2005.
In recognition of his contributions at Harvard, the National Wildlife Federation awarded Miller a Campus Ecology Fellowship in 2006. Miller’s passion for the environment has led him to Tanzania, where he examined the effects of deforestation on one of Africa’s largest lakes, and to Beacon Hill, where he campaigned on behalf of a state public lands preservation bill.
“I’m really interested in the science behind air pollution and climate issues, but I think in the long run I’d like to focus my career more in the direction of environmental policy,” Miller says.
Launched in 1998 and administered by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, the Mitchell Scholarship program recognizes outstanding young Americans who exhibit the highest standards of academic excellence, leadership, and community service. Named after the former U.S. Senate majority leader who spearheaded the historic Good Friday Agreement of 1998, the scholarships are awarded annually to 12 Americans under the age of 30 to pursue a year of postgraduate study at any university in Ireland or Northern Ireland.