Introducing the Class of 2026: Natalia Sawicka | BU At present

CAS pupil desires of being an ocean conservationist

Natalia Sawicka (CAS’26) intends to main in marine science at BU and is very trying ahead to the BU Marine Program (BUMP) Marine Semester. Photograph by Jackie Ricciardi


CAS pupil desires of being an ocean conservationist

A fast snapshot of the Class of 2026, the very best attaining and most numerous class in BU historical past: of the three,620 coming into freshmen, 19.4 % are first-generation college students and 21.2 % are from underrepresented teams. They hail from 47 states (with Mississippi, West Virginia, and North Dakota the exceptions) and 65 international locations and areas (23 % are worldwide college students). The category is 59 % feminine, 41 % male, and has a mean GPA of three.9 %.

However these are simply numbers. To provide you a greater sense of simply how achieved the Class of 2026 is, this week we introduce 4 college students who share their inspiring tales. 

The huge, eerie sounds of humpback whales are sometimes in comparison with music, an analogy that speaks to artist Natalia Sawicka. 

A singer who hopes to affix a College a cappella group within the coming weeks and a gifted illustrator, Sawicka (CAS’26) can be a budding marine biologist who’s obsessed with saving the mild giants, an endangered species whose numbers are dwindling due to local weather change, fishing gear entanglement, and vessel strikes.

Sawicka attended close by Newton North Excessive Faculty, and as a graduating senior, had the chance to design a mural on one of many college’s partitions. Impressed by a function in final yr’s particular Nationwide Geographic Earth Day concern, which had a graphic translating a whale’s clicks, whistles, and melodies into musical notes, she etched her personal humpback whale encircled by sounds. 

Whereas a senior at Newton North Excessive Faculty, Natalia Sawicka (CAS’26) designed a mural depicting a humpback whale encircled by sounds. Photograph courtesy of Sawicka

“One factor my mother stated was that usually you see whales entangled in fishing strains and as an alternative, in my mural you see the whale surrounded by music,” Sawicka says. “We should always defend them and permit them to exist of their pure habitat in the way in which that was supposed, as an alternative of endangering them and inflicting them ache. That ties all the things collectively for me.”

Sawicka, a first-generation Polish-American, grew up vacationing on Cape Cod, the place she spent a variety of time round seashores and boats. She cherished occurring whale watches along with her household, and when she was 14, she had the chance to make a journey with SEA (Sea Schooling Affiliation), a two-week expedition on the 134-foot-long tall ship SSV Corwith Cramer, the place she labored on oceanographic analysis and realized about nautical science with different excessive schoolers, accompanied by researchers and crew members. College students have been assigned numerous duties, together with serving to deploy gear and gathering and analyzing information. 

Photo: A large newspaper collage shows a painting of a giant green turtle holding a plastic bag in its mouth and various types of trash around it with the words "Convenience Kills" in large black letters.
Sawicka says the ocean regulates our local weather, produces about 50 to 80 % of the oxygen we breathe, and helps native economies for these dwelling on the coast. And but, we’ve solely explored 5 % of it, “lower than we’ve explored Mars.” Portray by Sawicka

Whereas she had beforehand seen whales from the seaside and on whale watches, Sawicka says seeing the animals up shut from the tall ship gave her a deeper appreciation for them. The vessel sailed from Boston Harbor to Georges Financial institution and Schoodic Bay. “It was actually nothing in need of life-changing,” Sawicka says. The whales swam close to the boat, diving and swimming because the solar set. 

“It was actually cool to be there of their pure surroundings in a much less obtrusive approach than a whale watch, which has all these folks and a very loud engine,” she says. “We weren’t looking for them out, we have been simply type of there.” 

Impressed by that journey, Sawicka began illustrating units of be aware playing cards, bookmarks, and stickers along with her watercolor work and promoting them to learn nonprofits, just like the Proper Whale Conservation Program. She’s raised near $3,000 to date. She additionally participated within the native public artwork initiative Newton Out Doorways, the place artists illustrated certainly one of 25 recycled doorways, which have been then displayed round city. Her door depicted a whale and different sea creatures.

Sawicka says that she sees fusing artwork and science as a type of public communication, which “is much more accessible to folks than, say, a dense analysis paper. Artwork is that this factor that connects all of us. You don’t want to talk a selected language or know sure terminology to be able to perceive it, and it creates this deep emotional connection.”

Sawicka believes defending the surroundings is without doubt one of the defining points for her era. “I feel ocean conservation is a very vital a part of that, and lots of people don’t give it some thought an excessive amount of,” she says, however the ocean regulates our local weather, produces about 50 to 80 % of the oxygen we breathe, and helps native economies for these dwelling on the coast. And but, we’ve solely explored 5 % of it, “which is lower than we’ve explored Mars,” she says. 

I feel that defending the surroundings is without doubt one of the defining problems with my era’s time.

Natalia Sawicka

“There are simply so many alternative ecosystems that we’re solely simply starting to uncover, and sadly, we’re ripping them aside and destroying them earlier than we even perceive how vital they’re,” she says. “I feel that if we don’t take time to review it now and defend it whereas we nonetheless can, the [ocean] will collapse and we gained’t actually be capable to do something about it.”

Sawicka intends to main in marine science at BU, and is very trying ahead to the Boston College Marine Program (BUMP) Marine Semester. She says she want to minor in artwork if potential, and examine overseas in Italy. After commencement, she hopes to be a marine biologist, doing discipline analysis finding out whales, particularly their habits and communication.

“I feel whales are simply these unbelievable, majestic creatures which might be actually clever, have a deep emotional capability, a complicated technique of communication, and I feel it’d be so cool to dive into their world,” she says.

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