As a Geography and Mathematics major, Emmie Dolfi’s ’13, summer placement with the Village and Town of Hamilton conducting the Greenhouse Gas Inventory suits her skills and interests perfectly. She is completing this survey for both the Village and the Town in order to identify areas in which each can lessen their carbon footprints. Emmie’s final product will be a written report that details the step-by-step process she underwent to carry out a credible inventory that can be used by future staff and interns on an annual basis.
Emmie began her project by researching quality assurance to figure out the necessary steps to complete the inventory. She then requested specific data from her supervisor, Mayor Margaret Miller, and other stakeholders regarding electricity consumption for each building and facility operated by the government, as well as the amount and type of fuel used by each government owned vehicle. Emmie entered these numbers into a large software database that calculates carbon emissions. In addition to the how-to steps of conducting a greenhouse gas emissions inventory, her guide will also include charts and graphs highlighting her findings. If the footprint is low, Emmie says the Village and/or Town may be eligible for grants.
Prior to her work with the local government, Emmie was unaware of resources present in Hamilton. She didn’t know that Hamilton had a wastewater treatment plant and substation, and was unaware of the general work the government does on a daily basis to ensure residents’ needs are met. Emmie respects the “structure and responsibility” the government possesses, as well as the people with whom she has worked. She describes her colleagues as people who are “immensely proud of the independence that this government has” and is amazed by the lengths they will go to perform their tasks in the best possible manner.
Emmie’s curiosity in the Upstate Institute grew from her roommate, Joanne Jan, who is a second-year fellow this summer. Relatively unaware of the region surrounding Colgate and interested in pursuing nonprofit work, Emmie applied for a fellowship. Now nearing the end of her fellowship, she claims that she is “much more conscious about my actions” and feels that she is “making “greener” choices.” Emmie is also more knowledgeable about how various sectors contribute to a village, town, or city’s overall carbon footprint. She is extremely grateful for the experience she has had and hopes her final guide will serve those conducting greenhouse gas emissions surveys for years to come.