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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, July 8, 2010

Dawson loves nature, wants to stop the climate crisis

By Saranac Hale Spencer

VOORHEESVILLE — After reaching a mountain’s summit, Karen Dawson looks back to see how far she came.

She likes hiking because she likes to be “completely immersed in nature,” said Voorheesville’s valedictorian.  There are no man-made structures in sight when she hikes in the Adirondacks, Dawson said.

She’s working on completing the 46 high peaks, all those above 4,000 feet, in no particular hurry.

Dawson describes herself as passionate about the environment and recognizes what she calls the climate crisis.  She wants to “work to stop it.”

She plans to study environmental engineering at Clarkson University, in Potsdam, where she has taken summer classes and where her brother went to school.  Her favorite class at Voorheesville, though, was Advanced Placement physics, which went more in depth than the Regents-level course she took since it “only scratched the surface,” she said.

Dawson played the trumpet in the school band, but prefers to play jazz, which, she said, is more unique.

She also spent time in the Lego League of For Inspiration and Recognition of Technology where she helped to program and build a robot out of legos.  The robot had to complete certain tasks in competition.  She mentored the program for a year and said, “It was fun.”

Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and Our Choice are two of Dawson’s favorite books, she said after giving the question some thought.  “I think they’re really informative,” she said.

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