a headshot of a person with dark shoulder length hair and bangs standing in front of a beautiful background of Smith Rocks

Welcome Sophia, Our Project Zero Intern!

Sophia Rosenberg (she/her/hers) comes to The Environmental Center through the PGE Project Zero Internship program, connecting young adults to the green sector through summertime work placements in the Portland area and in Central Oregon.

This is our second year hosting a Project Zero Intern, and we are excited to get to know Sophia and to learn alongside her as she helps us in all of our program areas, from youth education to gardening to communications! 

This week, we sat down with Sophia in the shade of a vine maple tree outside of our office to learn more about her and hear about what she will be doing:

What made you want to do Project Zero?

I just finished my first year in college, and I’m majoring in Environmental Science, but I’m still undecided about my minor, which I’m thinking will be either Political Science or Sustainability. I’m excited that Project Zero focuses on local nonprofits, and gives the opportunity to shadow and engage with organizations. I also like the focus on the green sector specifically. 

Can you tell us a little more about your college and how you like it so far?

I go to Willamette University, in Salem. I chose Willamette because I was really interested in the small community they have there – small class sizes, smaller number of professors where you can get one on one time, and a supportive environment for a learning style that works for me. 

What interests you about Environmental Science and the green job sector?

I had heard about climate change in the news, and extreme natural disasters in middle school; growing up in California, I experienced wildfires getting worse year after year. Then I took environmental science in high school and it was just eye opening. I learned how ecological systems work and how we interact with them – and I felt almost a “moral calling” and just wanted to do something about it. As far as what I want to do in the future, Willamette has a grad program with OSU in the Department of Forestry, so I’m thinking that would be a good opportunity, but I’m also super new and excited about seeing everything and seeing where the road takes me!

What’s your favorite way to experience/enjoy nature?

That’s a hard question! I would say currently, paddle boarding is really fun and I’m definitely antsy to get out more. I love hiking; I really like the Tumalo falls area. Going past the lookout and seeing the river is very beautiful. Dillon Falls is also one of my favorites.

Do you have any summer book recommendations?

I just started Suzanne Simard’s Finding the Mother Tree – I listened to a podcast with her and was like, that’s it, I have to buy this book! I like that it’s not just about science, because that’s what I study in school, but also about heart and soul and human nature. 

Would you rather have the ability to have microscopic vision, or telescopic vision when you wanted it?

I’m gonna say telescopic because bugs freak me out – it would be pretty cool to zoom way out when doing a study, like on the carbon cycle and trees for example, and see how something affects a larger system. 

Sophia will be working with us on various programs and events throughout the summer, including summer camp. You may see her tabling one of our upcoming booths or out in the community at events, so make sure to say hello!