Lisa Markslag is EcoAgriculture’s newest Program Intern. She lives in Leiden, the Netherlands, and just finished a Master in Environment and Resource Management at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. During her internship, she will assist in research on adult education approaches, methods and tools to inform the capacity-building strategy of the 1000 Landscapes for 1 Billion People Initiative (1000L).
Additionally, she will contribute to the design of capacity assessment protocols, capacity building curricula and curricula delivery modes, supporting the Capacity Development Design Team of the 1000L Initiative.
Let’s learn more about Lisa!
EcoAg: Could you tell us a bit about yourself and how your background led you to work with EcoAgriculture Partners?
Lisa: If you would have told me five years ago I’d be working for an organization like EcoAg; I wouldn’t have believed you. I’m a true city girl, and I had never even seen a farm from up close until I was around twenty years old.
From a young age, I loved to write stories. Mostly fiction, but I also enjoyed writing papers for school and, eventually, essays in high school. I wanted to be a writer and took this idea with me to university. I majored in literature and theatre studies and linguistics – the discipline in which I pursued a Research Master. The environment wasn’t really on my mind until I followed a course in Environmental Humanities, which mostly covered the language we use surrounding environmental problems and the livestock industry. I became gradually more aware of the climate crisis. I noticed my interests were slowly drifting away from language towards the environment. At some point, my linguistics master felt… futile. And so I switched careers.
I pursued a master’s in Environment and Resource Management and never looked back. Well, that’s not entirely true: I still love stories, and I still love to write. I wrote my thesis about how storytelling can help accelerate a transition to more sustainable agricultural practices on a regenerative farm in southern Spain, where I also helped out on the land. My research combined my interests perfectly, and I felt like I was at the right place at the right time. This experience convinced me that I should be at the agriculture-policy-communication nexus. Doing an internship at EcoAg, therefore, felt like a very natural next step for me.
EcoAg: What are some of the reasons you’re excited to work with EcoAgriculture Partners?
Lisa: I like to make infographics and illustrations to translate complex information into something most people can understand and enjoy. I believe that good, clear and fun communication of sustainable agriculture practices is a connector and something that can catalyze a much-needed agricultural transition.
At EcoAgriculture Partners, this is what I am most excited for: being a catalyst and a connector. I want to use solid research, design and storytelling to accelerate the agricultural transition on the one hand and connect organizations, leaders and farmers on the other.