We caught up with Marni Devlin Moses to ask about her work with the Sustainability Scholars Program and how her interest in environmental conservation and knowledge of sustainability impacted her career path.
How did your Sustainability Scholars Program project, The Way We Green, come to fruition, and what is the ultimate goal of the project?
As an MBA student specializing in Sustainability, I was very excited when the opportunity to work with the City of Edmonton as a Sustainability Scholar came up. I thought that this would be a real world chance to use my knowledge and skills to address issues of sustainability in the City. My project was around Energy Mapping and started with the availability of some data on residential energy use across the city. The question was how can we use this information to identify opportunities to engage with citizens and further the City’s goals in their sustainability strategy, The Way We Green.
The goals for the project were to use data on energy use to identify opportunities for activities or interventions that could reduce energy usage in different neighborhoods; to create city neighborhood profiles to identify areas for targeted interventions based on their energy use and other socioeconomic data; and to identify other jurisdictions that have collected and used energy consumption data to see how the information guided their actions. The final report provided some recommendations about how the energy data could be used, and underscores the need to have this level of detailed information to make the best possible decisions. With consistent, reliable data, the city will be able to make recommendations, set targets, and measure change and success over time.
How has working with the Sustainability Scholars Program impacted your career path?
My career path has taken me in some very different directions. I completed a BSc in Biological Sciences and then went on to an MSc in Experimental Medicine. After working in research for many years, I decided that I had a real interest in the environment and sustainability and wanted to find a way to take my scientific knowledge and training into the business world to apply it to some very pressing questions about how we use our resources and how we can do better. The Sustainability Scholars program gave me a chance to work outside my traditional field and to gain experience that I can apply to my future work. It was also an opportunity to meet people, across many disciplines, who have similar sustainability goals. Sustainability is a multi-faceted problem and many perspectives and ideas will be needed to come up with the best solutions. The Sustainability Scholars program gives graduate students an opportunity outside of academia to gain work experience and is an example to employers of the value that these students bring to the table.