Dartmouth College (Hanover, N.H.)

Morgan Curtis was somewhat of a troublemaker as a child—but not in the way you might think.

“When I was eight years old, my parents told me I had to stop hiding my brother’s light bulbs,” Curtis said. “Sustainability has continued to be an integral part of my life and guides all my decisions to this day.”

Now an undergrad at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Curtis has taken her passion for environmentalism to the next level. As a freshman at Dartmouth, she was chosen to become a crewmember for The Big Green Bus, a campus initiative. Curtis and other students spent the summer of 2011 touring the U.S. and speaking to citizens about the benefits of renewable fuels. The program affected her profoundly.

“After that summer, I changed my major from biology to engineering as a result of my passion for biodiesel,” Curtis said.

She didn’t stop there. After changing her major to Engineering modified with Environmental Science, she and two friends decided to start running their own cars exclusively on B100 biodiesel from a local company. Curtis is currently in negotiations with Dartmouth officials, who are considering purchasing biodiesel for the college’s use.

Curtis’s influence, however, has reached farther than Hanover, N.H. In September 2011, after a conversation about biodiesel with his impassioned daughter, Curtis’s father quit his job in England and purchased a small biodiesel plant.

“I was absolutely blown away,” Curtis said. “It was a dream come true.” Originally from London, Curtis now spends her vacations in northern England helping at her father’s plant. Curtis was selected as a co-chair of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel in 2012. She looks forward to working with other young biodiesel enthusiasts in the years to come. “I can think of nothing else I would rather be doing than working with the NGSB,” Curtis said. “Biodiesel is my all-consuming passion, and I really hope my work can expose even more students to this sustainability solution.”

Email Morgan Curtis