Meet Caroline Bonfield, VG23

School: Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

Degree: Master’s in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP)

Home: A remote cabin where I can get back to nature

How did your interest in animals and public policy develop?

It started when I was very young. I spent my summers going up to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, right over the border from Minnesota into Canada. It’s incredibly remote there, and you get to see so much wildlife in an undisturbed environment. There are no towns, there’s no internet, there are no cell phones—you’re entirely unplugged up there. Seeing animals in their natural habitat inspired in me a desire to protect them, to enable them to experience their lives in the wilderness with as little interference from humans as possible. It also made me want to protect the land for people of future generations.

Why Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine?

The MAPP program is unique. I can’t think of any other programs quite like it, that allow you to focus on both animals and public policy. It catered directly to the specific thing I knew I wanted to do, and I’ve loved exploring all aspects of the program.

What’s one thing you learned at Tufts that surprised you?

How dynamic the issues surrounding animals and public policy are. There are so many stakeholders with so many unique perspectives. You have to step outside of yourself, recognizing your own biases and accepting the fact that your background, whatever it is, might influence your perspective on a given issue. My interactions with professors and fellow students really opened my eyes to all the facets that one has to take into account when approaching a problem.

What’s next?

I’ve been working for the Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group and learning a lot about the impact of shipping emissions on our environment, ocean, and port communities. In my role as a shipping emissions analyst, I work to shape shipping policy to try to reduce emissions. It’s a way to protect animals by protecting the environment, and I’m excited to see what the future holds!

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