Emily McLean

Department of Religion, Class of 2021
Certificate in the Creative Writing Program

Emily McLean is a senior in the Religion Department at Princeton who is also pursuing a certificate in the Creative Writing Program. Her senior thesis for the Religion Department is concentrated on those who have historically been excluded from the conservation movement, particularly Indigneous communities in the Bears Ears region of southeastern Utah. A portion of Emily’s thesis will discuss how the original plan for Bears Ears National Monument was a tremendous step forward in giving Native voices priority in land management planning that should be replicated in future conservation proposals. Emily has been to this area of Utah twice for research trips, once with a Princeton course and once on her own. On these trips, she spoke with a number of Indigenous activists, representatives of the white-dominated conservation movement, and several Utah politicians who helped strike down the original Bears Ears proposal and shrunk the area of land protected by 85 percent. Emily recently moved to Colorado with her dog and is excited to continue working on this project while being situated in the landscape that she is writing about.