By Kyle Corwin, GoDuke.com
DURHAM, N.C. - For many collegiate athletes, competing at the professional level is the ultimate dream. While this is no different for Duke women’s soccer forward Imani Dorsey, her interests exceed far beyond the pitch.
The junior—majoring in environmental science and policy with a concentration in marine science and conservation—has an alternate plan for her future that is rooted in the very foundation of her hometown of Elkridge, Maryland, a staple of the Chesapeake Bay region.
Pursuing a career in conservation is actually a plan that had been set in motion well before Dorsey had even stepped foot on the campus of Duke University.
As a kid, Dorsey found herself spending more and more time around nature, captivated by her surroundings:
“At a young age, I always loved science and being outside. My family and I would always go hiking, and my dad would buy me science kits to play with.”
Although she enjoyed the novelty of learning about her environment, Dorsey began to view it as a way to help the world around her.
“Environmental science has so many sciences mixed into it, and I can do a lot of different things with it. I’ll be giving back in a way, which is something that I really value.”
Dorsey’s desire to follow a career path in the field of conservation was reinforced this past summer as she spent a month at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, North Carolina where she acquired specialized skills and knowledge through extensive lab work and observation.
A typical day for Dorsey would be anything but, beginning with a Marine Mammal Comparative Physiology lecture class in the morning. The afternoons were more hands-on, as the students spent time in the environments they were learning about.
“We would get to know the aquatic environment by going to a salt marsh one day, and heading to barrier islands the next,” said Dorsey.
Her favorite part of the whole experience was the people she met and spent the majority of her time with.
“It brought a lot of people from Duke together, all with different majors,” mentioned Dorsey. “Learning from them and seeing what I could potentially do was really cool.”
With the experience gained over the past summer, Dorsey plans to spend the upcoming academic year in the Bass Connections at Duke, a program that enables students to explore real-world issues. Her team, specifically, will be focusing on the history and future of ocean energy.
Dorsey also wants to attend grad school so that she can obtain a master’s degree in either environmental management or public policy.