I started the morning with my weekly check in with our lead analyst. She had just returned from a hearing on the recently proposed power plant carbon rules by the Obama administration, which many in the environmental community are hailing as the biggest climate action taken by the current administration towards reducing our carbon emissions. In fact, we’ll soon be bringing on staff a two-year Fellow to research the environmental justice and equity components so we can inform the state implementation of the rule. At the check-in meeting we also discussed a fracking research project she will be submitting in collaboration with a colleague in Texas. She updated me on the progress of a climate vulnerability project that we are doing. It involves mapping roughly 15 oil and gas coastal facilities to highlight their risk to sea level rise. We are hoping to use this visually-striking data to mobilize shareholders to demand better and more transparent climate risk reporting by energy companies.
I then moved on to screening candidates for a Research Support Coordinator opening at UCS. This position will help solidify some of the research tools and capabilities we have been building for our in-house analysts and experts. At this stage we have six candidates who were asked to submit videos answering the questions they received from us. I made my recommendations on the top two candidates to the hiring manager.
In Wednesday’s post I shared with you our work on food policy and the information toolkit we have been working on for the past three months. The staff person driving most of the research and writing behind the toolkit was a temporary research associate who is currently pursuing her Masters at the Nutrition School at Tufts University. Today is her last day and several of us took her out for a thank you and goodbye lunch where she amused us by ordering a hamburger, a fair reward for three months of sweat and toll on the healthy food work.
The final order of things before signing off for the week was a planning meeting for our all-staff retreat next April. Six of us, representing different programs and offices at UCS, constitute this committee and this was our second meeting. This retreat is being held after a three-year hiatus. We want to use this opportunity to help build excitement for staff about the organization, to create awareness of the new 5-year Strategic Plan, to help staff gain exposure to new ways of thinking, new ideas, and build skills through trainings. Since our staff is scattered in four different offices, it’s vital to create opportunities for staff interaction and relationship-building across programs and roles. At today’s meeting, we brainstormed the details of a staff survey and focus groups to inform our planning of the retreat as well as floated a few ideas for possible external speakers who would be inspiring for a large and diverse audience.
I hope this blog series has been informative for you. As I wrap it up with this final blog, I want to emphasize that one of things I really like about my job is that no one day looks like another. So although I’ve attempted to give you a flavor of my work life this week, it is far from a typical week for me; the last one was wildly different, and I’ll bet the coming one will bring surprises of its own. The job of the senior analyst and program manager at a relatively new initiative, the Center for Science and Democracy, of a venerated, impactful, and rigorous organization exposes me to new challenges and issues every day. I’m honored to work with smart, passionate, and dedicated individuals who put the mission of the organization before themselves. I hope my posts inspired you to recognize the diversity of tasks and goals you can take on, and to recognize that the rigors of your graduate training will tremendously help you organize, analyze, synthesize, and communicate your work, no matter the specifics of the tasks involved.