Hello everyone! I’m Emily Turkel, a rising junior majoring in Conservation and Resource Studies (I get to study energy and water use in the global sphere) and minoring in Public Policy. I love to bake, read and travel (in fact, I’m writing this from Seoul!). This summer, I’m lucky enough to have been granted the opportunity to intern as a federal policy assistant at Carbon180. Carbon180 is a climate-focused NGO that partners with policymakers, scientists, and businesses to develop policy, promote research, and advance solutions that transform carbon from a pollutant to a resource in order to build a carbon-conscious economy that removes more from the atmosphere than it emits.
I had been looking for things to do over the summer when I saw a poster for Cal Energy Corps in Wheeler Hall and knew I wanted to apply. As someone who studies and hopes to find a career in the clean energy sector, the program seemed perfect for me. Additionally, I’ve been lucky enough to take multiple classes and have formative experiences with soil scientists on the topic of carbon sequestration, so the opening at Carbon180 seemed like a natural fit. Up to this point, I had always been in scientific research positions, whether with the Macaulay lab or Brashares lab on campus, but I wanted to break into more policy research and drafting. I hope this internship opportunity allows me to experience the legislative side of carbon sequestration in order to help change the world for the better. Furthermore, I believe this internship will help in my personal development as well: even after being accepted to this program and attending orientation with the other Energy Corps participants, I still felt like I hadn't truly been accepted -- that there had been a mistake and I didn’t belong. I didn’t feel as qualified or experienced as the other candidates, the concept of Imposter Syndrome finally making sense to me. As I work with Carbon180 and become more confident in my own abilities to make change, I hope to assuage these feelings and become more confident in myself.