Understanding the Impact: My SBC Internship

Hi, I’m Ayden and I’ve been working as an intern for Sierra Business Council. I am a senior at Sage Ridge School (or was, I graduated this past Saturday!) and as a part of a graduation requirement, I interned from May 15th to June 2nd. For the past three weeks I’ve been interning for the Climate Planning and Sierra CAMP teams here at SBC. Let me tell you a little bit about what it’s been like!

I was drawn to SBC because I was interested in learning about the intersection of environmental science and actual policy. As a Truckee native, I am passionate about climate and environmental issues in the Sierra Nevada region (as well as the whole world).

For SBC’s Climate Planning team, I have been assisting on the development of an Energy Action Plan in the city of Sonora. I have learned a lot about California’s existing policies on climate change and Energy Efficiency. Working in this department has really opened my eyes on how energy efficiency is achieved and why local governments play key roles in achieving GHG emission reduction goals. It was also really fascinating to learn about how climate science informs policy. This experience has also opened my eyes on the economics of energy efficiency and why efficiency and sustainability are not just about being friendly to the environment; they are also about creating jobs, saving money, and creating better, more cohesive communities.

In SBC’s Sierra CAMP (Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership) team, I have been working on several things, including development of a website and creating and invite list for Sierra CAMP’s listening tour in Truckee. A lot of the research I have been doing for the website is focused on specific climate impacts in the Sierra Nevada region. Taking science classes in high school was helpful in terms of climate science basics, but the concept always seemed somewhat abstract to me. Researching for Sierra CAMP has shown me that there are clear, distinctive, and very tangible impacts of climate change on my community specifically. For example, I didn’t know that decreased snowpack could have such a large impact on water sources, or how climate change can be directly linked to recent drought and heavy storm events here in Truckee. All of this impacts our local economy and community vitality. Understanding that climate change is so palpable in my everyday life has shown me why it is such a critical issue that needs to be addressed with top priority.

The work that is being done at SBC has had an incalculable impact on the Sierra Nevada region and I am beyond glad to have been a part of it.