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Samantha McGraw worked with Michele Betsill and Linse Anderson on an internship project involving climate policy and New Jersey cities that have signed the United States Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. She looked to see what progress has been made by cities toward developing and implementing climate action plans. Her research consisted mostly of browsing the internet to see what information was available on municipal websites, and then conducting phone interviews with the guidance of research/interview questions. She then began reorganizing her data, and developed a small sample of cities to conduct a more in-depth analysis of climate action plan statuses.

In this analysis she examined five hypotheses as to why a municipality may be more or less likely to have some form of climate action plan than another. She found two of the hypotheses were good indicators, while the other three produced no reasonable conclusions.

With all of the research and findings complete, she wrote a report, and made a power point presentation and poster. She learned a lot from this internship, including the fact most of New Jersey is not taking steps toward creating climate action plans, and some of the reasons why this might be the case.

She also worked with Lucinda Smith in the City of Fort Collins Natural Resource Department on the Community Climate Challenge. This project aimed to find ways to get the community more involved in climate protection actions, and what changes they can do specifically. She did many different things from typing up meeting minutes, attending meetings about marketing, sending e-mails, and offering advice and input needed. It was a really great learning experience, and by the time she left they had developed a marketing strategy and the slogan for the campaign. She learned it takes a lot of time to get policy ideas pushed through government. Both of these experiences confirmed her thoughts that climate/environmental policy is what she wants to pursue in graduate school.

Sam enjoys many sports including softball, basketball, soccer, badminton, tennis and volleyball. She likes music, dancing, singing, riding roller coasters and shopping!

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