North­eastern Uni­ver­sity freshman Steffi Klosterman com­pleted her first expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­nity even before she arrived on campus in the fall.

For two weeks this summer, Klosterman vol­un­teered at the Insti­tute of Arctic Biology’s Toolik Field Sta­tion in northern Alaska. The secluded sta­tion is located more than 350 miles north of Fair­banks in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range.

At the field sta­tion, Klosterman worked along­side sci­en­tists studying cli­mate change. She helped set up exper­i­ments that mea­sured the methane levels in nearby lakes and com­pared sun­light and oxygen intake in algae. Later, she graphed the data for the researchers. Even washing bot­tles that held water or mud sam­ples helped open her eyes to con­ducting field research.

I’m incred­ibly inter­ested in that process, in which you’re unlocking the secrets of nature,” Klosterman explained. “You’re basi­cally unrav­eling how these ecosys­tems work, and you can apply that knowl­edge to all kinds of study.”

Klosterman devel­oped an interest in nature at an early age. At 5, she began col­lecting rocks, a hobby inspired by her geol­o­gist mother. Her father, Steven Klosterman, is the industry rela­tions and engi­neering lead­er­ship director in the Col­lege of Engineering’s dean’s office at Northeastern.

This summer, Steffi Klosterman earned her Wilder­ness First Aid cer­ti­fi­ca­tion; she is cur­rently working toward becoming a cer­ti­fied Emer­gency Med­ical Technician.

At North­eastern, Klosterman plans to com­plete more expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­ni­ties through co-​​op and field research. She is majoring in polit­ical sci­ence and pur­suing a minor in envi­ron­mental sci­ence. Together, she said, the two dis­ci­plines present many exciting areas to explore, such as urban policy and resource management.

Sus­tain­ability ties to every­thing we do,” Klosterman said. “As far as urban policy goes, it’s one of the biggest issues we’re facing. As pop­u­la­tions grow, how we can main­tain our stan­dard of living even as we’re draining our resources?”

Klosterman hopes to work both in the com­mu­nity and in far-​​flung parts of the world. She expressed inter­ested in studying abroad or com­pleting a co-​​op in a Spanish-​​speaking country.

I want a global expe­ri­ence to get that cul­tural immer­sion,” Klosterman said.