Spring on the York College campus

Brooke Harper '04 Fights for the Environment

By Rachel Harclerode '18
"Together, we can overcome anything."
Brooke Harper

At a time of political and environmental conflict, Brooke Harper ’04 continues to fiercely fight climate change. She currently serves as the Policy Director for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN), a nonprofit organization that works against global warming in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Although Harper once expected to become a journalist, she has been working with nonprofits since graduating from college. She has worked with a variety of organizations and on a variety of political campaigns and policies.

Harper’s most recent ventures with the CCAN include a fracking ban, a clean energy bill, and policies regarding construction of a gas pipeline. In the summer of 2017, Harper helped lead a successful campaign that made Maryland the third state to ban fracking. She posted a blog, titled “Maryland Just Passed a Fracking Ban. I’m Weeping,” for the CCAN website and wrote, “Together, we can overcome anything.” This sentiment has carried over into her work with clean energy policies and pipeline constructions in Maryland. She is working to bring Maryland up to 50% renewable energy, which includes wind and solar power. Additionally, she is advocating against the construction of a gas pipeline under the Potomac River. The Potomac River serves as a source of drinking water for millions of people; the gas pipeline could potentially harm all of those people.

While Harper is a strong advocate for the environment, her position does not handle policies on a federal level. This means that she cannot initiate policy change regarding offshore drilling, a prominent environmental issue that has been present in American government. Her love and dedication for the environment, however, show that she will continue to help the Earth in other significant ways.

Her initial plans to be a journalist brought her to an English degree at York College. However, the late professor of Harper’s Introduction to Social Work course, Barbara Tremitiere, Ph.D., made a lasting impact on her. She credits this professor with influencing her knowledge on social work and social impact. 

As she creates her own impact on the world, Harper emphasizes that we have just one planet. She feels that humans are the caretakers of the Earth and it is everyone’s responsibility to fight against climate change.