Kevin Guo

The Global Environmental Impacts of World War I
Interdisciplinary: Environmental Studies, World History
Volume 7 | Issue IV | December 2023
University of Toronto Schools ’24
Ontario, Canada
Yale University ’28
My interest in history began after I joined the History Bowl team at my high school. This interest evolved into a passion in the fall of 2022 when I traveled to Belgium and France as part of the Vimy Pilgrimage Award (VPA). Having been selected as one of 21 Canadian youths to embark on this full-funded program in Europe, I explored Canada’s contributions to the First World War in addition to underdiscussed topics related to the war – one of the topics was the war’s environmental impact. As someone interested in both science and history, the topic provided me with the perfect opportunity to examine the First World War through an interdisciplinary lens. Though I presented about the war’s environmental impact in a field project during the overseas experience, I continued to explore the topic in the months afterward. As my research progressed, I decided to challenge myself by turning my research into a paper for publication. With most of my free time dedicated to table tennis (I’m on the Canadian senior and junior national team), diving deeply into my passion for history with this project was tremendously exciting. I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Chelsea Reutcke, for her constant support, encouragement, insight, and feedback during the writing process. I would also like to thank the Vimy Foundation for starting me down this investigative path and inspiring me to write this essay published in The Schola.
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