Sustainable Approaches to Build the Salt Marsh Platform
UNH Jackson Estuarine Laboratory
Jen participated in the Fellowship program following completion of a Masters degree in International Environmental Policy with a focus on Ocean and Coastal Resource Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Monterey, California. At UNH, Jen worked alongside Gregg Moore and Dave Burdick, wetland scientists at the Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, on a National Estuarine Research Reserve Science Collaborative Project evaluating the use of Thin Layer Deposition (TLD) of sediment as a tool to build salt marsh elevation and resiliency in the face of sea-level rise. She drew upon her environmental policy background to analyze wetland regulatory frameworks in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island and determine whether they allow for TLD as a tool to sustain salt marshes. Jen gained keen insights into the process by which science and experimentation lead to larger-scale implementation of wetland activities by interviewing ecological and regulatory experts in each state and comparing the wetland regulations in each. The opportunity to get out in the field and participate in TLD data collection was a valuable experience which enhanced her knowledge and understanding of the experiments as well as the threats that face New England salt marshes in the years to come. This experience provided Jen with a deeper understanding of the intersection of science and policy that will inform her future career in ocean and coastal policy.
Promoting a Zero Waste Culture on Campus
UNH Sustainability Institute
Leysha worked with the University of New Hampshire to promote a culture of “zero-waste” on campus. Her fellowship focused on development and implementation of a communications campaign to reduce waste, energy, and water usage in the residence halls. She worked with the Energy Task Force, UNH Residential Life, the Sustainability Institute, and other key stakeholders to complete the project. Leysha created outreach materials to be used in residential newsletters, social media, and in-person programming. She learned about the inner workings of higher education departmental communication as well as how to craft messages around intrinsic values. The experience also showed her that sustainable behavioral changes are long-term goals which can be furthered through education and awareness. At the time of her fellowship, Leysha was a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, pursuing degrees in Environmental Studies, Communication Studies with a concentration in International Public Relations, and Spanish. Leysha is excited to build upon the waste reduction work at UNH by extending the lessons learned to her home university.
Protecting the Campus Ecosystem and Watershed
UNH Ecosystem Task Force
Anna participated in the Fellowship program following completion of her Master of Landscape Architecture degree at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture. She worked with the University of New Hampshire's Ecosystem Taskforce, which is co-chaired by the Sustainability Institute and Campus Planning, to create an update to the Landscape Master Plan. Her task was to synthesize the needs and desires of relevant stakeholders on campus, including the UNH Stormwater Center and UNH Cooperative Extension, in order to produce a document that would address aspirations for a sustainable and resilient campus landscape, while setting the stage for practical and responsible landscape planning, design and management practices. This project impressed upon Anna the complexity of campus planning work as well as the deep value found in a systems-based approach to landscape planning, design, maintenance and project management.
Andrew's fellowship was hosted by New Earth B, an independent sustainability B Corp based in York, Maine. He worked with Greg Norris, Ph.D on the Handprinter project, which is an app/website born out of Norris's vision to help people, businesses, and other organizations achieve a "net positive" environmental footprint. During the summer Andrew assisted New Earth B in identifying market opportunities for Handprinter in higher education, as well as soliciting feedback from potential users on the concept and current design of Handprinter. Andrew completed his fellowship after finishing his B.S. in Environmental Conservation and Sustainability at UNH. Following the fellowship, Andrew plans to continue working with Handprinter while growing his own beekeeping business on the NH Seacoast, where he lives.
Implementation of Energy Benchmarking Ordinance
City of Portland, ME
Ayden completed her fellowship during the summer preceding her senior year at Bates College, where she will graduate with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Ayden worked alongside Troy Moon at the City of Portland’s Sustainability Office to develop a suite of resources for property owners required to comply with Portland’s new Energy Benchmarking Ordinance. The Ordinance aims to establish a baseline of energy usage, and to encourage energy efficiency improvements. Ayden worked to translate the legal language of the policy into guides and resources to ensure property owners have appropriately concise yet comprehensive compliance instructions. While working at the Sustainability Office, Ayden was able to experience various aspects of city management and planning. Moving forward, she hopes to keep track of the implementation process and continue to learn about sustainable policy.
Social Risks in Supply Chains Database
Brandon holds a BA in Sociology from Central Washington University and recently completed an MS in Analytics and Data Science at UNH. Brandon’s fellowship work was mentored by Greg Norris and Catherine Benoit-Norris of New Earth B, a B Corp located in York, Maine that provides platforms for sustainability assessment. Brandon worked on the Social Hotspots Database, an amalgamation of data from myriad sources used for social risk assessment and supply chain analysis. He performed data processing, analysis, and modeling to lay the groundwork for dashboards which will measure social risk in 140 country/regions and 57 economic sectors. The dashboards will be used by clients wishing to view the social risks of their own suppliers and their suppliers’ suppliers to make more socially sustainable and informed decisions related to their own products and services.
Promoting Better Health Through Climate Change Mitigation
Vermont Department of Health
Abby worked with the Vermont Department of Health Climate & Health Program, a program funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that focuses on identifying climate-related health risks in Vermont, developing adaptation strategies to reduce climate-related health risks, and promoting climate change mitigation strategies that provide health co-benefits. Abby’s fellowship focused on the health benefits of residential energy efficiency retrofitting, or building weatherization strategies, which is poised to be a substantial climate change mitigation and adaptation strategy. She evaluated and compiled evidence linking building weatherization to public health benefits, creating a technical report and communication tool to be used with key partners and stakeholders to advance support for building weatherization in Vermont. The experience was a priceless stepping stone in furthering Abby’s career in public health, as she completed her fellowship while pursuing a dual Master of Science in Public Health in Epidemiology and Environmental Health at Emory University. Abby previously received a BS in Environmental Science from Georgetown College, after which she spent time working in land conservation before beginning work on her MSPH.
Collaborative Monitoring for Coastal Resilience
City of Portsmouth, NH
Kate completed a Fellowship with the City of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the vibrant seacoast community where she grew up and remains deeply connected. She worked with Peter Britz, the city's Environmental Planner and Sustainability Coordinator, on a project related to the city's Coastal Resilience study and Historic Properties Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment. Kate focused on surveying and cataloging infrastructure in the historic district and assessing its resiliency to climate change, in conjunction with floodplain mapping and one of the city's first groundwater monitoring projects. Prior to her fellowship, Kate studied sustainability and climate change adaptation in Copenhagen, which sparked her interest in coastal climate resilience. Following her Fellowship, Kate returned to Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York to complete the final year of her B.A. in Environmental Studies with minors in Urban Studies and Sustainable Community Development. Kate’s Fellowship experience has inspired her to pursue further research in climate resiliency and natural disaster mitigation.
Measuring Municipal Carbon and Nitrogen Footprints
City of Dover, NH
Jackson Kaspari worked with Elena Piekut in the City of Dover's Planning and Community Development Department to establish a carbon and nitrogen footprint baseline for Dover's local government operations (LGO). The combined greenhouse gas and nitrogen inventory report that he produced is the first ever for a municipality, and will allow Dover to track its future progress in terms of increasing energy efficiency, decreasing costs, and reducing its LGO footprints. Jackson has learned to appreciate the process of inventory data acquisition and gained valuable insight regarding how municipalities function. Jackson completed his fellowship following his graduation from the University of New Hampshire where he studied chemical engineering. He hopes to build upon his Fellowship experience by incorporating this work into his Ph.D. research at UNH. Jackson looks forward to further collaboration with the other fellows in his "class" as well as members of the alumni network.
Climate Adaptation Information for Fishing Communities
Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Sabrina holds a BA in International Political Economy and Spanish Language & Literature from Fordham University, and completed her fellowship while pursuing a master's degree in Agriculture, Food, and the Environment from Tufts University. Shen worked with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, Maine on a project that provides climate change adaptation information to fishing communities. Sabrina's project involved synthesizing and contextualizing economic and ecosystem models to create prototypes for community-specific reports on climate change vulnerability and adaptation strategies. Sabrina's main area of focus was analyzing in-depth interviews from four focus ports to identify community-specific barriers and facilitators to adaptation. In addition, Sabrina outlined existing climate change adaptation frameworks and identified how the project's qualitative results could be incorporated into a relevant research paper. Sabrina was impressed by the adaptability and entrepreneurial nature of fishermen and the fishing industry, and perplexed by the complex management system under which they operate. Sabrina hopes to continue a career involved in the development of resilient, regional food systems. The GMRI fellowship was a comprehensive introduction to the role fisheries play in our food system, and a deep dive into the challenges the ocean ecosystem and fishing industry face.
Resource Planning and Load Flexibility Analysis
Burlington Electric Department
Michaela worked with the Burlington Electric Department (BED) to identify opportunities and models to improve its future Integrated Resource Plans (IRP), which detail how the utility plans to meet the future energy needs of its customers at the lowest economic and environmental cost. Michaela’s work focused on identifying replicable models to evaluate technologies/measures to remotely control customer loads, assess lessons learned from pilot projects, analyze the cost of energy transformation projects and incentive structures, and analyze the continued operations and economics of the McNeil Power Plant. In addition, Michaela identified strategies to improve BED’s IRP process through better integration, more robust uncertainty analyses, and comprehensive societal cost evaluations. Michaela also evaluated the demand response potential of City of Burlington customers to reduce load during peak energy events. This work involved quantifying the size of the “virtual battery” that could be leveraged by working with commercial customers to enable load shifting and developing a spreadsheet tool to evaluate the financial savings. Michaela has a B.A. in geoscience with a concentration in environmental studies from Williams College. Prior to the Fellowship, she was a Research Analyst at Industrial Economics, Inc, an environmental consulting firm. Michaela began her master’s in civil and environmental engineering in the Atmosphere/Energy program at Stanford University after completing the Fellowship.
Accelerating Climate Solutions Through Impact Investing
UNH Center for Impact Investing
Claire McCarthy worked with Professor Michael Swack of the UNH Impact Finance Center to analyze and address barriers to financing climate change mitigation and adaptation projects in New England. She surveyed and interviewed municipal staff in the region as well as green finance experts to help identify the types of projects municipalities are planning, common barriers they face to completing these projects, and possible recommendations to address those barriers. Claire is a recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire, with a BA in Economics and International Affairs, and a minor in Spanish. The Fellowship experience gave Claire an opportunity to apply the interdisciplinary knowledge that she acquired through her undergraduate studies to a cause she is very passionate about, and as a result she is even more invested and excited to pursue a career in sustainable community development.
Agent-based Traffic Flow Model for Transportation LCA
UNH Civil and Environmental Engineering
Conor worked with the UNH Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to develop a procedural model which accurately reflects the environmental impact of transportation system operation by combining traffic and emissions models. Based on an extensive review of existing literature on traffic modeling as well as the state-of-the-art, proprietary traffic modeling software packages, Conor focused his project on addressing the lack of detail within traffic inputs to transportation life cycle analyses. His agent-based approach provides a holistic model which facilitates the assessment of the resilience and impact of transportation systems in the context of a changing climate. Conor enjoyed applying his quantitative skills to his interest in advancing sustainable technology and reducing carbon emissions, and he hopes to continue to do so following the completion of his degree in Physics with a minor in Computer Science from Bowdoin College.
Town Facilities Benchmarking and GHG Emissions Update
Town of Groton, CT
Andrea worked with the Town of Groton, CT sustainability manager, Rick Norris, to complete a municipal greenhouse gas inventory, determine the effectiveness of previous energy and conservation efforts, and create an energy action plan. Her work will allow the Town to target emission reduction strategies and lay the groundwork for future environmental policies. She completed her Fellowship prior to her final semester studying mechanical engineering with an energy systems concentration, and plans to continue on to pursue a master’s degree in Renewable and Clean Energy. At the University of Dayton, Andrea works with the campus energy team to conduct energy audits to improve energy efficiency on campus. In addition to a her interest in sustainable energy, she is also interested in technology and engineering in developing countries. She spent a summer in India designing an 18ft tall 3D printer capable of printing houses and wind turbine blades. She has also spent time building solar cookers, creating rocket stoves, and installing solar PV in Nicaragua. She looks forward to utilizing the skills she developed during her Fellowship to help her campus and future work in renewable energy.
Establishing a New Farmers' Market in South Providence, RI
African Alliance of Rhode Island
Julia Nemy completed her fellowship in Providence, RI with Julius Kolawole at the African Alliance of Rhode Island (AARI). Her project focused on planning the organization’s grand opening of their pop-up farmers’ market series. Launched on August 3, 2018, AARI’s market brought a variety of fresh produce to South Providence, an area categorized as a food desert. As the neighborhood has a large Latino community, the market focused on bringing Latino culture and popular Latino foods to Roger Williams Park. Plantains, papaya, and yucca were sold, and the market also hosted a local Dominican youth dance academy and a plantain peeling contest. SNAP and WIC benefits were accepted to increase market access. Julia worked to create publicity materials, coordinate permits, and perform market outreach. After her fellowship, she hopes to continue to work with immigrant and refugee communities and pursue a career in sustainable international development. Julia participated in the Fellows program after graduating from Bates College with a double major in Environmental Studies and French & Francophone Studies, and followed her Fellowship with a Fulbright in Rwanda.
Climate Action Outreach
City of Somerville, MA
Michael worked on a Climate Action Outreach Program for the Office of Sustainability and Environment in the City of Somerville, MA. He developed outreach and engagement materials to communicate a variety of climate change initiatives and goals associated with the forthcoming Somerville Climate Forward action plan. He worked closely with Hannah Payne, Somerville’s Sustainability Coordinator, to design and create a one-page summary pamphlet to help Somerville residents learn, share, and take action on climate change. During his Fellowship, Michael met with a variety of community members so he could incorporate their needs and voices into the design of the outreach materials. In addition to the pamphlet, Michael created posters addressing Somerville’s vulnerability to extreme heat, precipitation, and coastal flooding in the near future. The pamphlet and posters will be available on SustainaVille’s website (Somerville.gov/SustainaVille) and used for educational presentations, tabling events, and other forms of outreach. Michael is a recent graduate of the MS3 Sustainability Science Master’s program at UMass Amherst where he focused on Urban Sustainability, Green Infrastructure, and Renewable Energy Design. He looks forward to building upon the outreach and design work he completed for Somerville and applying his new knowledge to a career in sustainability.
NEMS Network - Communications and Outreach
UNH Sustainability Institute / NEMSN
Erin Puglia worked alongside Dr. Dovev Levine, Jennifer Andrews, and Dr. Cameron Wake to conduct an assessment of progress made by the New England Municipal Sustainability (NEMS) Network, and the impact of their work. She conducted interviews with all of the Network's member municipalities to update their individual sustainability profiles and identify common themes and barriers. A main focus of the project was measuring progress toward the Network's shared goal of compliance with the Global Covenant of Mayors framework. Erin also created outreach materials to increase the visibility of the Network and document its accomplishments and impact. Erin completed her Fellowship while finishing a Master's in Public Policy at UNH with a concentration in Strategy and Communication. She is looking forward to pursuing a career in sustainability, public affairs, equity, and their intersections.
Sustainability Learning Outcomes in Higher Education
UNH Sustainability Institute
Sofia completed her Fellowship prior to her last semester at the University of New Hampshire studying Environmental Conservation and Sustainability. The University of New Hampshire is a leader in sustainability, yet does not have a holistic sustainability education strategy that encompasses students, faculty, and staff. Sofia worked with the UNH Sustainability Institute to review methods that other institutions of higher education have used to educate their communities. Her research serves as a basis for UNH to develop a broad sustainability education strategy, a process that Sofia plans to stay involved in. Her experience at UNH provided her with valuable insights into the challenges of working in an institutional setting and she looks forward to staying connected with the Fellows and faculty that she met through her Fellowship.
Solar Roadmap Research and Planning
City of Cambridge, MA
Alec worked with the City of Cambridge, MA on developing a road map to increase solar energy generation within the city. He investigated barriers to solar conversion, including economic and technical challenges, analyzed successful installation projects, and interviewed key stakeholders in the community. Alec worked with city planners to develop solutions to address these barriers, and prioritize recommendations based on feasibility and potential impact. Alec was also able to estimate a solar energy cost curve for the city, which will help city planners devise cost effective solutions to achieve their solar energy development goals. Alec completed his Fellowship after recently finishing a bachelors in economics and environmental sciences from the University of Massachusetts, Boston where he researched the applicability of a solar rooftop on campus. For his senior capstone, he helped devise a hypothetical one hundred percent renewable energy portfolio for the small island nation of Mauritius. Alec was delighted to be able to use his research experience from the university to provide insight to how Cambridge can achieve its solar energy development goals.
Democratic Grant Making and Grassroots Trend Reports
New England Grassroots Environment Fund
Shannon worked with the New England Grassroots Environment Fund on grassroots trend reports and the Catalyst Conversation series. She interviewed, surveyed, and partnered with organizations in the region to identify barriers, trends, and opportunities within the Grassroots Fund's Energy & Climate and Food issue areas and created trend reports to help inform the work of grassroots groups, non-profit organizations, funders, and grantmakers. She also helped coordinate the participatory planning of a New Hampshire Catalyst Conversation event by bringing together stakeholders from across the state to design an accessible and informative event where grassroots organizers can co-create community solutions. Shannon completed her fellowship while finishing a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Spanish at Mount Holyoke College. She looks forward to incorporating the Grassroot Fund’s values-driven approach into her work in the environmental justice field.
Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Analysis
Town of Dedham, MA
Amber Vaillancourt worked with the Town of Dedham, MA to advance their climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts after completing her undergraduate degree in Natural Resource Planning and Community and International Development from the University of Vermont. Amber's work with the Town centered around the requirements set out by the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, an international coalition of cities and towns working to cut Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and engage in resiliency planning. Amber started the process of creating a baseline community-wide GHG Inventory by acquiring stationary energy, waste/ wastewater, and transportation data and contributed to preliminary research on the Town's Climate Action Plan. Additionally, she engaged in research on identifying local and regional climate change vulnerabilities and hazards in support of the Town's involvement in Massachusetts' Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program. Amber got a chance to work beyond the GHG inventory by assisting Town staff and The Sustainability Advisory Committee on the development of an environmental checklist for new commercial construction. Dedham's sustainability efforts can serve as a model for similar towns in Metro Boston seeking to understand and address their contribution to climate change by using an approach scaled and tailored for their community. Amber hopes to build on her fellowship experience by pursuing a Master's in city planning focused on sustainability and equity.
NH Sustainable Food Access: Programming Outreach
The NH Food Bank
Kira worked with the New Hampshire Food Bank to evaluate participation in the Cooking Matters Program, which aims to empower families at risk of hunger with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to prepare healthy and affordable meals. Kira utilized community engagement tools, organized and facilitated dialogue sessions, and determined limiting and driving factors to participation in the program, all with the goal of developing solutions to encourage program participation. Kira graduated from Antioch University New England with an MS in Environmental Studies and an emphasis in advocacy for sustainability and social justice. While working for the sustainability and social justice committee, she spearheaded the establishment of a food pantry at her graduate school. Kira also organized and helped facilitate workshops surrounding social justice issues on her campus and in the community of Keene, NH. Kira is originally from the island of Guam and cares deeply about ocean conservation and climate change resilience. She is passionate about community engagement and bringing all voices to the table.
NH Land Compatibility: renewable energy and farmland
NH Sustainable Energy Association
Tracey Wingate completed her fellowship with the New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association after graduating from Skidmore College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Tracey’s work involved investigating key criteria used by solar developers to identify locations within New Hampshire that may be targeted for solar development. Using these criteria, Tracey created a model map of Durham, New Hampshire that highlights parcels ideal for solar development. This work is timely as many other New England states have experienced increasing solar development accompanied by land use conflicts as communities aim to produce more sustainable energy while maintaining open spaces, farms, and forests. With the expectation that this development will spread to New Hampshire, municipalities can use the model map of Durham to conduct an analysis of their landscapes, identify parcels that may be targeted for solar development, and plan accordingly. Through this fellowship, Tracey learned about the complexities of incorporating renewable energy projects within existing landscapes and electrical infrastructure.