Meet the 2021 Summer Interns and Fellow!

June 8, 2021
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Montgomery County’s climate planning team is excited to welcome four interns and a fellow for the summer. Dora, Laura, Sara, Susannah, and Matthew are passionate individuals committed to addressing climate issues and to helping Montgomery County achieve its climate goals. They will each work on a variety of projects, including writing articles, researching mitigation strategies, analyzing data, and supporting climate action efforts. Read below to get to know our 2021 summer team! 

Dora Hauache 

School: New York University   School Year: Rising Sophomore Major: Urban Design & Architecture and Environmental Studies. Minor: Visual Arts Extracurriculars & Hobbies: Crocheting, running, and practicing yoga 

Why are you interested in working on climate issues?   

“The environment is ending due to human irresponsibility. The destruction to the scale we have today could have been avoided. As a living being in the planet, I feel called to study and work on climate issues. I am fascinated by the connection between the climate crisis and questions of politics, economics, mobility, identity, communication & many other exciting issues.” 

What topics are you most passionate about?  

“I am passionate about social and environmental sustainability in urban spaces. Through my education, I hope to commit to planetary care in cities considering humans and non-humans alike. I am particularly interested in ways to use architecture and urban planning to construct a healthier relationship with the environment and repair the damage we have already done.” 

What are you most excited to work on or to learn about this summer?   

“I am very excited to be immersed in conversations involving the climate team and attend meetings to observe the thought and planning regarding real challenges the County faces. I am curious to learn about governance at a county level and the impact climate planning has on county residents.” 

What is one fun fact about yourself?           

“I’m a plant mom! I live with over 20 plants in my tiny New York City studio (and I love it). It brings a touch of natural life and color to New York, especially in the winter months.” 

 

Laura Chen 

School: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) School Year: Rising Senior Major: Chemical Engineering with a focus on the environment Minor: Public Policy Extracurriculars & Hobbies: Working with the MIT Water Club, playing Field Hockey, running, and spending time outside and with friends 

Why are you interested in working on climate issues?   

“I’m interested in working on climate issues because climate change is one of the most pressing global challenges we face, and I truly believe it will take our global community to confront it. Because it affects so many parts of our lives, it has unavoidable implications for equity and access to basic needs such as water, food, and housing, and I hope I can do my part to tackle these issues.” 

What topics are you most passionate about?  

“I’m really passionate about topics at the intersection of environmental and social realms, and I’m particularly interested in the water-food-energy nexus as well as housing issues. Through my education and work, I hope to be able to be an advocate for vulnerable populations through the frameworks of governance and engineering, which both really excite me.” 

What are you most excited to work on or to learn about this summer?   

“This summer, I’m very excited overall to get to see what climate planning and governance is like in practice at the county level, but I’m also excited to work with county employees and my fellow interns and get to use real data sets to learn how to construct equity analyses and how to start bringing together different resources and stakeholders to formulate critical research questions and metrics.” 

What is one fun fact about yourself?   

“A fun fact about me is that I’m a midfielder on the field hockey team at my school, and I love playing the sport of field hockey or just doing anything outside!” 

 

Sara Sachdev Blomquist 

School: Georgetown University   School Year: Rising Senior  Major: International Politics with a certificate in Diplomacy Studies. Extracurriculars & Hobbies: Working with Slow Food, reading, singing with a university acapella group, and hiking 

Why are you interested in working on climate issues?   

“The climate crisis pervades all aspects of our lives: environmental longevity, health and wellbeing, economic prosperity, social justice, and so much more. For me, working on climate issues is a way to meaningfully work on all these intersecting elements at once. Through this work, I can combine my passion for community engagement, political activism, and environmental protection, and I am very excited to continue to develop my skills.” 

What topics are you most passionate about?  

“I am very passionate about food justice, particularly ensuring equitable access to healthy and safe food for all and making our agricultural systems sustainable and resilient. I am also very interested in addressing environmental racism, which continues to be a major issue that affects health, economic, and social outcomes for many people of color. Lastly, urban management/development is another area of interest for me, particularly building green, climate-resilient cities. As global populations rapidly become more urban, this area is particularly essential.” 

What are you most excited to work on or to learn about this summer?   

“I am very excited to work on community outreach for the Climate Team. I think community engagement is an essential part of climate action, particularly because environmental issues impact residents daily. Through work with local organizations and the Climate Team, I am excited to continue developing my outreach skills and making sure that all voices can be heard. I am also thrilled to be working on new projects that will directly impact County residents, such as wood repurposing and edible forests. Helping to lay the groundwork for these initiatives is so exciting, and I am also learning so much about climate science, urban planning, and community initiatives in the process.” 

What is one fun fact about yourself?   

“Prior to moving back to Montgomery County, I lived in India for nine years! I was first introduced to climate issues while living there, particularly those related to urban development and air/water pollution.” 

 

Susannah Auderset 

School: Amherst College School Year: Rising Junior Major: Architectural Studies and Environmental Studies Extracurriculars & Hobbies: Working with Amherst College’s Sunrise Chapter and Divestment Coalition, running, reading, playing with my dog Piper, and spending time with friends 

Why are you interested in working on climate issues?   

“I am interested in working on climate issues because climate change intersects with and exacerbates many social, racial, and economic injustices, and requires prompt collective action. I also feel that I have a responsibility to help undo the harm humans have inflicted on the environment and vulnerable communities. I want to have an active part in the movement to ensure a more equitable and sustainable future.” 

What topics are you most passionate about?  

“I am most passionate about the intersections of architecture, environmental justice, and social justice; someday I hope to work on the equitable and sustainable development of the built environment!” 

What are you most excited to work on or to learn about this summer?   

“Overall, I am most excited to learn from the expertise of the Climate Planning Team, to gain experience in policy at the county level, and to contribute to Montgomery County’s progress towards its climate goals. I am also very excited to explore first-hand how architecture and urban design can play a role in climate change mitigation and adaptation.” 

What is one fun fact about yourself?  

“I run on Amherst College’s Track and Field team! I am a long sprinter and I compete in the 400 meter dash.” 

 

Matthew Stovall 

School: George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs School Year: Second-year Master of Arts student Concentration: Global Energy and Environmental Policy  Past Experience: Working as an Arabic linguist and research analyst with the U.S. Army Hobbies: Reading, jogging, hiking, trying new foods, convincing my friends to play board games, and taking my dog Millie on adventures 

Why are you interested in working on climate issues?  

“My grandma always loved some form of the quote, “we do not inherit the world from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” This quote has always stuck with me and has guided my passion for preserving the environment. I believe the world’s rapidly changing climate is the most pressing issue we face as a society, and it is up to the present generations to ensure the world remains habitable for future generations. I hope to play a small role in our efforts to mitigate the most harmful effects of climate change and build more resilient, sustainable, and equitable communities.” 

What topics are you most passionate about? 

“Renewable energy, sustainable business practices, nature-based solutions to climate change.” 

What are you most excited to work on or to learn about this summer? 

“I am excited to learn from the other interns and members of Montgomery County’s Climate Planning Team and am eager to learn about and contribute to the county’s green building codes, electric vehicle group buy program, and ensuring that climate measures implemented by the county are equitable.” 

What is one fun fact about yourself? 

“I love to compete in obstacle races like Spartans and Tough Mudders! The muddier the better.” 

 



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