The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences


Katie Glance

Katie Glance '23 interning at the Climate Institute during the 2020 summer term.

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This summer I was a research intern at the Climate Institute, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to solving climate change issues. The Climate Institute was the world’s first organization with the sole focus of working on climate change issues. Since its founding, the institute has played an important role in moving climate change on to the international agenda, fostering collaboration between developing countries and richer nations, and in launching and implementing pioneering studies and initiatives on climate issues. Their mission is to discover and implement climate solutions by advancing research, sharing information, and collaborating with U.S. and international partners. As a research intern, I was part of a team working on the North American Supergrid Initiative (NAS). My focus was regional grid transformation in an effort to achieve the vision of the NAS. I drew on the expertise of clean energy CEOs, renewable energy trade associations, peer-reviewed research papers, and other key players to analyze the obstacles that have prevented past regional grid projects from being implemented. A lot of my research included High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC)analysis, which involved compiling data, infographics, and HVDC policies. I developed case studies on HVDC projects, like the SOO Green regional grid project, which acts as a flagship model for future regional grid transformation projects because of its unique design. It follows the fiber optics model of implementing its system underground along 2 pre-existing railroad lines, which bypasses many of the permitting issues that often delay or prevent the implementation of new HVDC transmission lines.

This internship was immensely helpful for me because it was my first time doing an internship related to my major, environmental studies. The most beneficial part of this program was being able to obtain hands-on experience in my field of study. The second-best part of the internship was that it provided me with a platform to doing dependent research. The majority of my research was malleable. I was able to take it in whatever direction I wished. This was a challenging but rewarding experience. And if I was ever lost, I had a team of mentors I could reach out to for help. Lastly, I was positively impacted by the collegial community at the Climate Institute. I developed relationships with mentors that have impacted me immensely. In fact, many of these relationships are ongoing. John Topping, the President of the Climate Institute asked me to be the President of the Center for Environmental Leadership Training, which is the educational branch of the Climate Institute based in Hanover, NH.

My experience this summer shaped my image of my future career to be oriented toward something that combines finance and climate change initiatives. I’m not sure exactly what that will be yet, but I imagine it will be some type of clean energy finance or clean energy consulting. I definitely want to focus my Dartmouth classes not only on clean energy, but also things that will allow me to think about energy in a unique way related to the world. To do this, I’ve started to take an interest in classes like Design Thinking and economics

The Rockefeller Internships Program has funding for Dartmouth undergraduate students to help defray the cost of living expenses associated with a full-time, unpaid, leave-term internships in the fields of public policy, public affairs, and social entrepreneurship.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences