Economic Empowerment Analyst
As an Economic Empowerment Analyst, Erika Harvey 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
Since the start of the pandemic, Sierra Business Council’s impact has included:
-Providing over 1,400 small businesses with one-on-one counseling.
-Infusing $18.5 million in economic capital in communities across the Sierra.
Supporting over 4,000 jobs in the region.
Helped secure $536 million in early action wildfire funding for California.
-Deploying $1.2 million to bring reliable broadband infrastructure to rural neighborhoods.
-Begining a 22-county Vulnerability Assessment to better prepare the region for climate impacts.
I grew up climbing on granite slabs at Donner Summit, and the rock formations fascinated me. Everywhere I went in the mountains, I found myself mesmerized by the colors, textures, and stratigraphy lines that painted the landscapes. Having grown up in Northern California in an outdoors family, the concept of conservation was ingrained very early. “Respect the playground; if you want the beautiful places you love to remain intact, then do your part.” At that point in my life, I knew I wanted to do something that allowed me to be outside and in the field solving problems (or something to that extent). Naturally, I began my academic career pursuing a degree in geology.
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.