Greetings! My name is Tarah Brady, I am a fourth-year Community Regional Development student at UC Davis. During my second quarter at UC Davis I was sitting at the arboretum when I received an email from my department internship coordinator about a student internship opportunity for a local non-profit doing work around energy and sustainability. My track is Environmental Policy and Regional Planning, so this posting about Cool Davis immediately caught my attention.

I quickly took out my laptop, Googled the organization and I looked over all their blogs and projects. Being impressed with their work I decided to send an email and my resume to Cool Davis.

Now one year later, I have been working on various projects as an Energy Intern. This past year I have worked on three main projects; creating a solar contractor list, revamping our website, and building a plan for energy use and greenhouse gas actions for Davis households.

Cool Davis Internships
Tarah Brady is a Community Regional Development student at UC Davis and a multi-year Cool Davis intern. Photo courtesy Tarah Brady.

Cool Davis wanted to completely re-design the website by stripping all old photos or documents, having the design look more up to date and make the website easier to navigate for users. I had to look over hundreds of articles we had on our website and categorize them, add tags, I had to come up with 35 transportation slogans to use for our website, provide my input on website designs, upload images to the headline of the article to catch the reader’s attention and delete outdated articles.

I have also worked on creating a plan with Cool Davis staff and the City of Davis to help Davis households be more sustainable by improving the energy efficiency of their home heating and cooling systems. We’ve had meetings with planners and permit staff at the City of Davis offices discussing how we can work together on this project. The plan is to provide workshops to educate these households on environmentally friendly home heating and cooling systems they can install in their homes to create a more sustainable community.

This summer I studied abroad with UC Davis in the ‘Sustainable Cities of Northern Europe’ program. We traveled to Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland to study city planning and energy systems with Professor Catherine Brinkley. I will be graduating from UC Davis in Dec of 2018 and I am excited to write the next chapter of my life as a college graduate!

All in all, it has been a busy year and a half at Cool Davis. I am learning a lot about environmental planning, energy systems, and decision making. I enjoy attending meetings with staff from the City and I am excited to see Davis become more sustainable. Hopefully with our updated website, solar contractor list, and evolving home heating and cooling efficiency efforts, the resources Cool Davis provides can make a difference in the community.

Editor’s Note: Not only has Tarah been a dedicated multi-year intern with us, she personally recruited both of our current summer interns, Emily Estrada and Sim Bun. We look forward to celebrating graduation for all three this year and wish them well (and many happy letters of recommendation).