Britt Bailey

Prescott College AffiliationAlumni
Area of StudyEnvironmental Policy
Graduation Year1998

B.A. Psychology, Kenyon College
B.A. Fine Arts, Kenyon College 

Since receiving my M.A. from Prescott College, I have continued to work at the non-profit Center for Ethics and Toxics in Gualala, Calif. In November of 1998, the culmination of my thesis work, which focused on the environmental, social, political and human health effects associated with the introduction of genetically modified foods, was published in a book and video, "Against the Grain: Biotechnology and the Corporate Takeover of Your Food." The book was published by Common Courage Press and is in its second printing. The video is being distributed through the Video Project of Act Now Productions and is regularly shown on Free Speech Television. I have continued my research and writing about biotechnology, pesticides and their ecological impacts. In the summer of 2002, a second book, "Engineering the Farm: The Social and Ethical Aspects of Agricultural Biotechnology" (Island Press) was published. This book is the result of a two-year grant given to examine, with the assistance of leading national thinkers on the subject, the deeper issues related to the alteration of our landscape by the introduction of genetically engineered seeds. My work on issues pertaining to genetically engineered foods has led me to give testimony before the California State Senate, and to speak at regular workshops and seminars on the subject.

Alongside my work in agricultural biotechnology, I have been working on assessing the ecological risk of pesticides on endangered species. I have partnered with the Smith River Project to assess the potential impacts to endangered salmon from the overuse of synthetic pesticides attributed to industrial lily bulb operations. I have also partnered with Californians for Alternatives to Toxins to draft a biological opinion paper to better protect the survivability of endangered and threatened species from pesticides. This paper will be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency as part of the consent decree from a recent legal settlement. 

I continue to host a regular Ecology Hour radio program for our local NPR affiliate and teach an Environmental Policy class at a local college. I am motivated by a belief in leaving a better world for future generations. I believe our hearts sing in open spaces and that ecological complexity provides a tight knit foundation to our personal freedom. I am challenged to inspire others to be involved and to know they can make a difference. 

My experience at Prescott College provided me with wings to follow my heart and the knowledge that I could fly once in the air. The College and my experience have been incorporated into my strength and courage. If I begin to take on a task that feels daunting, I reflect on and remember the belief and support I received through my studies and continue to receive from faculty and my friends from my program. Prescott College, its students and faculty, never doubted my intention, path or goals. There is a place of strength in my heart where I go when I have self doubt—Prescott College lives there.

Advice for students: Follow your heart—it really works. Think with your heart—it feels better than thinking with your head. When in doubt take a deep breath in a beautiful place. In weak moments we believe our individual actions do not matter. Remember these are weak moments. Every action is great. Remember to play and to always have a mentor.