Acadia Center is pleased to have provided three internship opportunities this summer.  The work of these exceptional students has proven beneficial to their learning and to our organization as a whole. We are grateful for their time and talent.

Sarah Smith is a rising junior at Brown University studying political science. She is from Yarmouth, Maine and, as a Mainer, has a deep personal connection to and investment in the New England environment. Sarah has been researching the potential of mass timber as a substitute for concrete and steel in construction, and the subsequent environmental benefits. Using engineered wood in place of conventional construction materials can decrease the embodied carbon of the building as well as sequester carbon from the harvested trees. There are several high-rise mass timber projects in the works in the United States, and many more globally. Sarah has been distilling existing research and compiling next steps into a memo for the Acadia Center to have as a future resource.

Joseph Wapelhorst is a second-year law student at Georgetown University Law Center, where he is a member of the Journal of Law and Public Policy. As a legal intern at the Acadia Center, he has supported senior regulatory attorneys by conducting research on the Supreme Court’s recent changes to the EPA and federal administrative state’s authority as well as the power of New England states to phase out gas utilities. His work has focused on whether New England states possess the authority to shift away from gas utilities to more renewable energy sources, their obligations to serve their citizens in doing so, and the cost allocation methods that would be used in such efforts.

Meenakshi Jani is a rising senior at Amherst College, where she is majoring in environmental studies and history. At Amherst, she has been involved in organizations such as the Environmental Justice Alliance, where she helped to lead the campaign for divesting the college’s endowment from fossil fuels and the prison-industrial complex. As a DEIJ/legislative intern at Acadia Center, she has been researching transportation advocacy in the region. Specifically, she has been analyzing the story of the Transportation and Climate Initiative and its implications for future clean transportation advocacy in the Northeast. She has also been reading the transportation policy proposals of organizations in and beyond the Northeast, such as in the Midwest, West Coast, Canada, and the EU, to examine how those can be incorporated into Acadia Center’s clean energy advocacy. In addition, she is compiling a database of environmental advocacy organizations in the region.