Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Cardinal Watch: Olsen spreads awareness via podcast, outreach

Charlie Olsen, a senior at SUNY Plattsburgh, fell in love with Plattsburgh and the surrounding area after visiting in the summer after he graduated high school.

Although Olsen’s first choice was SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, he said he didn’t care for the vibe of the area. Hailing from Belport, on the south shore of Long Island just 10 minutes away from the beach, Wilson said the proximity to Lake Champlain was a big factor in his decision to attend SUNY Plattsburgh.

During his time here, Olsen not only fell in love with the area but SUNY Plattsburgh itself. Although he is not directly involved with clubs on campus, he still finds ways to contribute to campus life. Wilson works as a community advocate in residence life community living in Wilson Hall since starting at SUNY Plattsburgh three years ago.

“That building just has a hold on me,” Olsen said.

He is also part of the on-campus Environmental Action Committee and had a hand in planning the climate strike in September.

“I feel like it’s cliche, but in college you get out of it what you put into it. I’ve put a lot into it therefore I get a lot out of it,” Olsen said. “I’m more of a jack of all trades, I like to dip my feet into a little bit of everything.”

Olsen is an environmental studies major with minors in geography and sociology. He is extremely passionate about the environment, and relaying information about the environment to the public in a way that’s comprehensible. His want to relay that information in his own way, is why he started a podcast about it.

The podcast is called “Pod for the Planet.” It started as an independent study on campus through part of a larger program called Planet Forward which is an environmental news organization based out of the George Washington School of Media and Communications in Washington D.C. The organization was founded by former CNN correspondent Frank Sesno.

On this podcast, Olsen leads conversation-based dialogue about environmental issues while attempting to avoid jargon and information that might go over the listener’s heads.

Outside of the classroom, Olsen not only fervently works on producing content for his podcast, but he also enjoys listening to vinyl records. He referred to his preferred style of music as “hipster trash” with a hearty laugh. He also enjoys hammocking down by the Saranac river, and said it is his favorite place on campus.

Olsen plans to graduate from SUNY Plattsburgh in May, but he’s not quite sure what the immediate future holds for him. He knows he wants to go into environmentalism at some point, but is not sure about which avenue he wants to take.

“Right now I’m looking down two paths. I’m trying to figure out if I want to go into policy development and the nonprofit world, or if I want to follow a grassroots activist route,” Olsen said. “I’m leaning more toward getting into the policy arena. I found that that’s where my talents work best.”

Although Olsen will be graduating soon, he will still be working hard to accomplish his goals both academically and personally. His podcast is available on major streaming services like Apple Music or Spotify.


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