Today we're highlighting the second part of a two-part series of short interviews with IMT's great summer interns. In this installment we're talking to Jonathan Bauer, IMT's Building Energy Performance Policy and Finance Intern for Summer 2015. Jonathan is from Southbury, Connecticut, and came to IMT after completing an internship with the White House Council on Environmental Quality this past spring. He graduated in May from Central Connecticut State University with a B.S. in Biology. We're excited that he could join IMT this summer.
A fun fact about Jonathan: He is a competitive runner, running mostly 5K’s, but his fastest mile time is 4:30. Jonathan is also an avid aquarist and has maintained a combination of 5 freshwater and saltwater fish tanks at a time.
When and how did you first become interested in environmental and energy issues?
While growing up I spent my summers in Rhode Island, just a few steps from a salt pond. I explored the pond for hours upon end and, as a high school student, participated in college prep courses knee-deep in the same pond’s ecosystem. It was there that I developed a passion for the environment and respect for nature. These personal experiences led me to major in biology at Central Connecticut State University.
During my freshman year, I happened to find a marketing job for a local energy provider. I continued promoting third-party electricity throughout college and more recently, worked weekends as a solar salesman. My coursework reaffirmed my interest in energy and the environment, and motivated me to seek out internships with environmental agencies at both the state and federal levels of government.
Name a sustainable or environmentally focused project you have worked on and what you liked about it.
I spent a summer working as an undergraduate researcher at the University of Massachusetts Boston. With funding from the National Science Foundation, I joined a lab studying the effects of oyster farming practices on sediment microbial communities. We hypothesized that different farming practices would foster unique communities. I hoped that our study might identify a superior sustainable practice that could be promoted to oyster farms nationwide. I valued this project because it exposed me to scientific research and instilled me with a deeper appreciation for data and analysis. Finally, this experience allowed me to better understand how science and research can be used to inform policy.
What direction, or directions, would you like to take your career in?
I plan to pursue a career focusing on environmental and energy issues. I hope to work for several years before returning to school to obtain my JD and MBA. No matter what sector I end up working in, I will contribute to the ongoing effort to quell climate change.
You've worked on a variety of projects at IMT, can you describe a couple of them? Which has been your favorite so far and why?
As the Finance and Policy Intern, I maintain a diverse portfolio at IMT, but have spent most of my time on a few specific projects. I devote the majority of my time to what has become my favorite project—an energy efficiency lender engagement initiative. I have a three-step role in the initiative. I research prospective candidates in the national banking industry and then schedule and conduct interviews about lending practices as related to commercial building energy efficiency. This project allows me to learn about the complexities of financial institutions and to recognize the importance of bridging the gap between lenders and energy efficiency incentives.
In addition, I research utility data access, which has helped expand my knowledge about the inner workings of utility companies. Lastly, I contribute to IMT’s multifamily work—analyzing datasets and searching for trends and, more recently, researching multifamily properties within the District of Columbia to assist in an ongoing survey.
I have enjoyed all of my work thus far, but most especially my projects with the private markets team, as I came to IMT with relatively little experience in finance.