During her internship with Ethos Collaborative, Madison learned about Pittsburgh’s history of floods and its ubiquitous relationship with water. She worked with the team on various projects that engage neighbors to be a part of the solution in creating resilient communities. Most of the projects Madison worked on related to water, including a collaboration with Nine Mile Run Watershed Association to develop design concepts to turn a vacant lot into a green infrastructure site based on stakeholder feedback.
Riley spent her internship with the Breathe Project, an organization that fosters collaboration among community members, scientists, public health professionals, and others to gather information about improving air quality in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Riley used industry tools to gather data and maintain resources to understand how air pollution affects the community. The information aims to encourage community members to take action to help the city become a truly sustainable and healthy place to live.
For his internship, Zack worked with the Pennsylvania Solar Center to advance legislation and expand his knowledge of energy policy on the local and state level. He worked with the team to advocate for raising the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) and the use of agrivoltaics on Pennsylvania farmland. During the internship, Zack developed op eds, letters to editors, and fact sheets showcasing how this legislation could provide clean and reliable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create new energy-sector jobs.
For his spring internship, Dillon worked with Civil & Environmental Consultants on the potential restoration of Streets Run Stream in Whitehall. He learned about ways to restore the water source and develop trails, nature walks, and a green space for the community, connecting the local facilities and schools. The team also reviewed challenges such as erosion and sediment and potential solutions for the project.
This semester, Grace interned with landscape architecture and community planning studio, Pashek + MTR and helped to analyze the carbon footprint for the redesign project in South Side Park. Using the industry application, Pathfinder, Grace and the team measured how the materials and vegetation used in the project will provide a sustainable, climate-positive design and enhance project outcomes.
Throughout the semester, Lauren interned with Green Building Alliance (GBA), a nonprofit advancing sustainability and innovation in the built environment. One of the primary initiatives she worked on was the 2030 District for Pittsburgh and Erie, which works with local partners to reduce energy and water use by 50% in existing buildings and aims for carbon neutrality in new construction and major renovations by 2030. She also learned about GBA’s Inspired Speaker Series, Green and Healthy Schools Academy, and other educational and motivational resources for communities.
As a Green Building Alliance intern, Madison worked with the team on their educational programs, outreach, and partnerships that are creating a more sustainable region. She wrote blog posts, researched resources on sustainability in Pittsburgh and beyond, and highlighted the organization’s work in schools and with building professionals, local community members, and thought leaders. Madison and the GBA team also learned to pivot their programs during COVID-19 to better serve their community partners and stakeholders.
As an intern with Grounded Strategies, Lauren had the opportunity to work on projects that will improve the social, economic, and environmental health of distressed and transitional communities. She was heavily involved in the community engagement planning process for the redesign of Westinghouse Park in the Point Breeze neighborhood and engaged with neighbors to make sure these changes properly addressed the needs of the community.
This semester, Jingping worked with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy in their work to restore the Pittsburgh parks system and to make public places more sustainable and connected. Jingping performed inventory analysis for the Mellon Park action plan, which aims to restore the park while unifying the vision of community members and stakeholders. He also worked with experts in the area and engaged with community members during public presentations and meetings.
Li spent his internship with LaQuatra Bonci Associates, a landscape architecture, urban design, and land planning firm based in Pittsburgh. Throughout the semester, he learned about various sustainable buildings in the area and how they can improve the quality of life for the people in the community. Li primarily worked with the landscape architecture team on the Frick Environmental Center, a green building that addresses site quality, water, energy, and community need to achieve Living Building status.