2015-2016 Luce Scholar

PanNature Hanoi, VIETNAM

Nick Thorpe will work at People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) in Hanoi, Vietnam. PanNature is a Vietnamese not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting and conserving diversity of life and improving human well-being in Vietnam by seeking, promoting and implementing feasible, nature-friendly solutions to important environmental problems and sustainable development issues. Established by a diverse group of dedicated Vietnamese environmental professionals, PanNature thinks creatively about solving the most salient environmental issues facing Vietnam, seeking to preserve Vietnam’s natural heritage and promote sustainable development nationwide.

With family ties to Venezuela, Nick Thorpe grew up in the Bay Area of California and San Antonio, Texas. In May 2015, Nick will graduate from Rice University with a double major in Political Science and Environmental Policy. As an undergraduate, Nick has focused on understanding domestic and international energy, environment, and policy issues and on finding workable solutions in the private and public sectors. For two summers, Nick interned in Washington, D.C., first for a non-partisan policy think tank, then for the U.S. Trade Representative in the Environment and Natural Resources Office, where he participated in the inner-workings of the federal government and learned about the utilization of trade policy to enforce environmental provisions. Through these experiences, he became fascinated by the relationship between local and central governments on environment and energy issues, and how they work together to meet international commitments. Nick spent a semester in Santiago, Chile, exploring Chile’s politics, economics and culture and conducting an independent study project on local environmental policy. He also had the opportunity to travel to Istanbul, Turkey for a policy research seminar; to Guatemala for an international service trip; and to Everglades National Park in Florida for an Alterative Spring Break. At Rice, Nick has served as a student government representative, academic fellow, and orientation week advisor at his residential college, Lovett College. He has volunteered as the lunch hosting committee chair, executive board member and tour guide for the Student Admission Council, where he provides prospective students with a look into student life, academics and the college environment. With the ultimate goal of positively impacting people’s lives while protecting our environment in the process, Nick plans to pursue a career as a public servant and expert on local environmental and energy policy. Nick also enjoys watching comedic TV shows and movies, cooking Venezuelan food, playing tennis, and exploring craft beer.