Welcome, Satya!

a young woman wearing a tan baseball cap and a green backpacking pack stands in front of a mountain view, smiling

Our Climate Solutions team has grown!

We’re excited to bring Satya Austin-Opper (she/her) on board as our new Home Energy Assessment (HEA) Program Manager.

Originally from Asheville, North Carolina, Satya came out West to attend Lewis & Clark College in Portland, where she received her B.A. in Environmental Studies with a minor in Political Economy. Before starting at TEC in 2024, Satya has spent time working with other Central Oregon nonprofits to help advocate for stronger local climate policy and promote the transition off of fossil fuels. In her free time you can find Satya snowboarding, rock climbing, crocheting, or volunteering with Bend Equity Project. 

As the HEA Program Manager, Satya will be working directly with community members to help them accomplish their energy-saving goals! Working with homeowners and renters, Satya will provide in-home assessments and connect participants with Energy Trust of Oregon’s financial incentive programs and contractors to help install more efficient equipment and therefore help lower energy costs and carbon footprint.

Q&A with Satya

Here are a few getting-to-know-you questions and answers from our newest team member:

Q: What inspired you to work in the field of climate action, specifically in the realm of energy and energy efficiency?

A: I was lucky enough to have parents who really prioritized spending time outside and learning about the natural world when I was a kid. This deep personal connection with nature that I was able to develop early on in life really shaped my passion for wanting to protect it. Focusing on energy/energy efficiency is one way that I see being able to help combat the climate crisis. 

Q: What are you most excited about in this new role?

A: I think this is a really important program and I’m excited to be able to help get it up and running. I’m excited that this program has the potential to make a difference in the energy use of Central Oregon while simultaneously helping folks who have historically been left out of similar incentive programs and home upgrades. 

Q: What do you find most fulfilling about living in Central Oregon?

A: Central Oregon has such amazing access to so many cool outdoor activities and places to visit. It’s one of the main reasons I moved here. It’s such a privilege to be so close to world class rock climbing, skiing, fishing, rafting, hiking, ect. 

Q: Do you have an all time favorite book, book series, or podcast?

A: When people ask me what my favorite book is I usually say Ishmael by Daniel Quinn because I read it when I was about 15 or so and it really was such a turning point in how I view my relationship with the natural world. Reading that book was very instrumental in shaping my academic and career goals. 

Q: If you could switch careers to be either a deep sea diver or an astronaut, which would you choose and why?

A: Honestly both of those options terrify me! You couldn’t pay me enough money to join either of those professions. I just feel like space and the deep ocean are two places that humans don’t belong, and I’m okay keeping it that way. 

Say hello!

Although Satya will be primarily working out in the community conducting assessments, you may spot her in the office at TEC or tabling at a public event in the near future. If you do, make sure to give her a warm welcome to the team!

To connect with Satya Austin-Opper, you can email her at satya@envirocenter.org.