Director, Economic Empowerment
Erika works on projects that promote environmental health, social justice, and economic prosperity in the Sierra Nevada region through research, data analysis, and community outreach.
Erika has a MA in Applied Anthropology from San Jose State University (SJSU), with a focus in geoarchaeology. Her thesis research involved utilizing sediment and spatial analysis to determine site formation processes of a coastal archaeological shell midden site in the Caribbean. Part of this analysis included questions about how climate change could have influenced prehistoric coastal communities, and presently, bring awareness to how climate change is threatening our mission to conserve archaeological sites. Before attending graduate school, Erika competed for SJSU’s Division 1 swim team and graduated with a BA in Anthropology with a Minor in Geology.
Originally from Northern California, Erika has spent significant time in Truckee: learning how to rock climb, whitewater kayak, ski, mountain bike, and backpack. Her passion for the outdoors, and love for the Truckee community stems from her history in outdoor recreation, time spent in the Sierra, and devotion to earth sciences. When Erika is not researching, she’s either partaking in one of the many recreational activities the mountains has to offer, photographing the mountain atmosphere, or swimming in an alpine lake.
Blogs by Erika Harvey
Over the last few years, climate scientists have noticed that the extreme events originally projected for future decades are happening now. These recent extreme events have changed language in the field from climate change to climate emergency, and the difference isn’t just semantics—it is the rate and volume at which they occur.
Wildfire is the apex issue in our region, impacting the environment, economies, and public health of the Sierra. The severity of this problem is addressed by each of SBC’s three focus areas—our climate action, regional advocacy, and economic empowerment teams are each working on solutions that tackle the many challenges presented by severe wildfires.
This past January, I got a text from my trail family asking if I was interested in going on a backpacking trip for 12 days in the Southern Sierra in August. Without hesitation, I said yes. Little did I know how this trip would impact my life, let alone bring perspective to the Sierra Nevada Climate Vulnerability Assessment project I had just joined.
In partnership with the Martis Fund, Sierra Business Council administers the Martis Fund Homebuyer Assistance Program, which provides down payment assistance to help income-qualified working families in Placer County east of Donner Summit or in the Town of Truckee purchase homes.