I discovered SCG through Dr. Tom Perreault, who advised me to pursue an internship with the organization. After reading about the community based projects that SCG has conducted, I knew that I wanted to get directly involved with the Syracuse community.
Throughout my time as an intern I have worked on multiple projects. I researched national mobile farmers markets and created a national survey in order to analyze how food deserts on are being addressed, and what could be improved to ensure the long term success of mobile farmers markets nationwide. I have created maps illustrating cases of SNAP (food stamps) users in Syracuse, based on their geographic location. My favorite project has been mapping the Morning Side Cultural Trail, a local 5 mile Syracuse trail. Other interns and I were able to go out in the field with GPS units and our community partner, Paul Harvey, to map a beautiful inconspicuous trail that runs through Oakwood Cemetery and Barry Park. We have been collecting GPS data and historical information to create a new map of the trail to distribute throughout the Syracuse community.
I have always felt most fulfilled while working and advocating to improve the environment, and my semester spend abroad in South America revealed to me how exhilarating it is to live in a foreign country and be forced to re-establish oneself within a community. Therefore, my long term career goal is to work abroad with an environmental non-profit organization.
After graduation, I moved to Reno, Nevada and worked through AmeriCorps with The Nevada Conservation Corps. I worked (and camped!) in the field conducting biological surveys to assist natural resource managers, thinning forests to prevent wildfires, and doing trail restoration and maintenance.
I am now working for CALPIRG-California Public Interest Research Group as a Campus Organizer at the UC Irvine campus. I help to develop student leaders on the environmental, public health, and higher education campaigns we work on, as well as maintain positive campus relations with the Administration to ensure the future of CALPIRG on campus, and increase our visibility on and off campus. I also recruit volunteers, teach them about the campaigns and how to run one successfully, and train them to be leaders within the chapter. Some of this year’s campaigns that CALPIRG is working on are: banning the plastic grocery bag, stopping the overuse of antibiotics in factory farmed meat, increasing solar energy in California, textbook affordability, and hunger and homelessness.
Although I do not do any work with GIS these days, SCG did teach me that I need to be dedicated and disciplined to the projects I undertake in order to have a successful outcome.