In 2021 Barry McLaughlin moved everyone with his passion for the environment and won the Sustainability Scholarship by finduddannelse.dk. Since then Barry has started his Master at Berkeley and a position at NASA. Read more in this interview about Barry and his year of being a scholar in the Bay Area.
How have you been since starting your Master Program in Development Engineering at Berkeley?
My journey so far at Berkeley has been amazing! I am of the first cohort in the new Master of Development Engineering program at Berkeley - their first professional degree committed to solving complex global challenges across the corporate, nonprofit, and government sectors. I’ve been learning so much, with the program being interdisciplinary, I’ve dived into a range of topics integrating engineering, economics, business, natural resource development, and social sciences, and learned how to apply them in different ways to develop, implement, and evaluate technological solutions addressing economic development. This program is enhancing my expert skills in the design and management of technology, evidence-based assessment, business development, cross-cultural & international collaboration, and community engagement. Not only that, but the intellectual environment at Berkeley, the international community and opportunities in the Bay Area has been extraordinary! I feel like I’ve transformed as person, both personally and professionally. I am forever grateful that the Sustainability Scholarship 2021 has supported me in this journey!
You have started as a research scholar with NASA! Tell us more about that? What is the project about and what is your role?
I’ve started a position with the NASA DEVELOP Program through the Space Systems and Innovations Lab, relocating to Athens, Georgia USA for the Summer. This experience has been amazing, I’ve been working in interdisciplinary research teams, utilizing NASA Earth Observations through satellite remote sensing for ecological forecasting in Yellowstone National Park. Whilst collaborating and building capacity with project partner organizations to address community and environmental concerns - I’ve been working with my team to produce project deliverables including a technical paper, project summary, public presentations and products for our end-user. Additionally I’ve been participating in professional development activities and workshops, with team meetings and scientific advisors. Ultimately, the end products we create, will assist the National Parks Service in management practices and inform wildlife restoration and rewilding decision making within, and beyond Yellowstone.
You co-founded Earth Action Hub, that aims to inspire climate action through collaborative online communities. What is going on with that now?
Cofounding Earth Action Hub was an incredible experience, creating an online community for people to connect and collaborate from around the world, during a global pandemic was empowering. After a number of months continuing our work, we realized that our current capacity was most effective due to the needs and support young activists needed during the pandemic. Now that the pandemic has lifted, people have been able to return to in-person networking and collaboration. For this reason, Earth Action hub has no longer been creating online events, that said, we have made all our resources and recording available online with the hope that we continue to inspire climate action. We are proud of what we accomplished and myself and the other co-founders continue to drive environmental protection and sustainability in each of our respected areas.
What are you dreams for the future?
My dreams and aspirations for the future are constantly changing, with each and every day at Berkeley I feel I’m growing in new ways, with doors opening in places I’ve never before considered. I hope that my future continues in this path of learning and personal growth. Professionally, I’m looking forward to continuing my work within the environmental and sustainable development sectors, supporting society with the challenges associated with combating the effects of climate change.
Thank you, Barry
We are so proud to support Barry and his incredible actions towards climate changes, sustainability and wildlife restoration. We know that he is going to do a lot of good in this world. Stay tuned...