International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award

8-2016

Degree Type

Portfolio

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P)

Department

International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Frederick Greenaway

Abstract

Through my work as a Master’s student in Environmental Science and Policy at Clark University I have acquired a wide variety of knowledge and skills which will be showcased in this document. The breadth of courses and sub disciplines that I have taken has expanded my awareness and understanding of the current state of Environmental Science and Policy. My undergraduate degree from Clark University in Environmental Science focusing on Earth Systems Science focused primarily on comprehension of the Earth’s physical processes with applications for Global Climate Change. This master’s work has expanded upon those quantitative skills as well as deepened my understanding of American environmental legislation and has encouraged creative solutions in building a sustainable future. This portfolio is meant to represent the variety of knowledge that I have acquired through my work at Clark University’s Environmental Science and Policy program including the state of climate denial in America, analyses of municipal environmental policies, social practices and their climate impacts, quantitative analyses of climate data, and critical examinations of energy systems. Some of the work showcased in the following pages was collaborative in nature as many courses in this program aim to simulate the collaborative nature of the field and the increasing collaborative nature of our world. In order to promote a sustainable future within the capitalist framework that we live in, we must look at what it means to sustainably consume and produce. Through my work at Clark, particularly in a course called Sustainable Consumption and Production, I examined the structure of hyper consumerism, the concepts of well-being in America as it pertains to sustainability, growth within the capitalist framework, and the usefulness and downsides of technical 3 efficiencies to promote sustainability. The first paper included in this portfolio was a group endeavor that examined New York City’s extensive OneNYC Plan for a Strong and Just City. This paper summarizes the extensive plan put out by the Mayor’s Office and analyzes the plan based on how the concepts of human well-being, consumptive behavior and growth of the economy play into the sustainability of the city. The second paper is a quantitative research project done using statistical analyses to compare historical O18 isotope ratios from coral cores at variety of locations around the globe. These ratios tend to be highly correlated with water temperatures. The analysis of historical coral cores is a technique used to give us a clearer idea of the paleoclimate. The raw data for this project was acquired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). This project is one of the many exercises at Clark that tailored my ability to obtain, clean and organize data from external sources. In a time where we are well on our way to reaching dangerously high levels of Green House Gasses in our atmosphere, I am committed to working towards a more sustainable future for ourselves and for future generations. Unfortunately, an alarming large percentage of the American population does not support the idea that climate change is a human induced phenomenon. The third paper here addresses climate denial in America and analyses and refutes arguments that are commonly used. My team and I examined the demographics of the communities that are most likely to deny human induced climate change, the actual arguments leaders of this movement tend to use, and, most importantly, examined techniques that can be harnessed to discuss climate change with those who do not believe in it. Communication with those who do not understand or agree with the grave implications involved with human induced climate change is vital to promoting a sustainable future. 4 The fourth paper is a discussion on the solar photovoltaic market which accompanies a solar panel planning spread sheet that I created to help companies or individual consumers can forecast their expenses and potential revenue from installing a single solar panel or a solar array. This paper discusses the historical increase in efficiencies of solar photovoltaics and the innovation that has occurred as well as the steep decrease in cost of photovoltaics since their release on the market in the 1970’s. Overall, this portfolio represents a wide variety of knowledge and skills that I have acquired through my Master’s education at Clark University. Each piece of work, carefully chosen to be included here, represents a larger body of knowledge and experiences that I have acquired through my time at Clark University. Clark’s Environmental Science and Policy program has helped cultivate me to be thoughtfully critical of environmental policies through collaborative and individual work. It has provided scientific training in environmental decision making and has fueled my commitment to finding creative solutions to promote a sustainable future and culture.

 
 

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