We are grateful for our 2017 class of Duke University Stanback Interns. This week, meet Kelsey, a recent North Carolina transplant who is supporting the on-going community organizing work of our PowerUp NC program.
Where is home for you?
Right now, home is Durham, NC. Having grown up a military vagabond, I have learned to grow roots wherever I’m planted! I’m new to the area, but I can already tell what a vibrant culture it offers, and I am excited to get more involved in the community.
Where are you on your higher education path?
I will be starting my first semester of graduate school this fall. I will be entering a Master of Environmental Management program at Duke with a focus in Water Resource Management. After graduate school, I hope to start working in the clean water field, either domestically or abroad, with the goal of ensuring everyone has access to a safe and sufficient water supply!
Why did you choose to work in the environmental field?
The environment affects EVERYTHING. I fluctuated in my academic interests, but all of them (Anthropology, Medicine, Public Health, Animal Science) are tied irrevocably to environmental health. I believe as the most environmentally demanding species, we have an obligation to mitigate the damages we incur and protect our earth for future generations.
What are some of your fondest memories of being out in North Carolina’s natural wonders?
Being new to North Carolina, I have not had the chance to explore the local nature as much as I would like. But one of the biggest reasons I was attracted to this state was the geographic diversity with mountains in the west and the beaches in the east and everything in between. I am eager to see every bit of it.
What are your internship responsibilities this summer with the NC League of Conservation Voters Foundation (NCLCVF)?
I am conducting research this summer for NCLCV Foundation’s PowerUp NC program. Their focus is on environmental justice in ways that are pragmatic and equitable. In practice, that means improving residential energy efficiency, encouraging equitable and sustainable development, and creating a demand for clean energy and green jobs in the Raleigh area. My research has included analyzing city housing legislation, finding sustainable and equitable development case studies, investigating current green jobs training measures, and synthesizing studies of sustainable growth. The research will ultimately help PowerUp NC push for city regulations that will improve environmental health, lessen the financial burden of lower-income families, and create jobs.
How do you see this opportunity as a Stanback intern affecting your future education and work?
This internship has given me the opportunity to engage with the local community, experience working with stakeholders, and learn more about urban planning. I hope to translate these skills into the water sector to create community-based water management solutions that are equitable and sustainable. It has also given me a better perspective of the needs of different income levels, and how that affects their interactions with the environment.
Want to learn more about Kelsey’s work with our PowerUp NC program? Drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.