Sustainable Energy Coach, USGBC - New York Upstate Chapter
I grew up in Newark, NJ, went to college at the University of Wisconsin and went on to get a Master's Degree at NYU in Comparative Literature. I lived in Hoboken, NJ for over 20 years, while I worked in the fossil fuel industry at an oil refinery and later in Manhattan. I the refinery I saw first hand their polluting practices that damaged the local community. This made me more aware of the connection between energy and foreign and domestic conflict. I became opposed to fossil fuel as an instigator of local pollution and foreign war, and nuclear power as a facet of nuclear weapons and a supplier of depleted uranium.
I went from the refinery to the IT department of an international law firm as a network administrator. After 8 years, in early 2001, I had the opportunity to move to the Mid Hudson Valley and rethink my career.
I had just moved when the World Trade Center was attacked. As the Iraq war drew closer, I felt it was clearly an oil-grab that would hurt the US and destroy Iraq, if not the whole Middle East. I could not stay on the sidelines. In 2003 I became a citizen-journalist with the Human Shields and lived in Iraq for over a month before the war started. We had just about complete freedom, even under the Hussein regime, to go where we wanted. The Iraqi people I met were smart, very hip, and had a dry sense of humor, while being very hospitable. Kind of poetic as well. Otherwise, they were pretty much like everyone else, anywhere. The kids were smart and exuberant. Like all kids.
The war brought trillions of dollars in debt to the US public, but huge profits to oil companies. It has not only shattered Iraq beyond repair, it has set off conflict and civil war throughout the region. I decided to do what I could in my own small way to address the root cause of that and other wars: fossil fuel. I went into the sustainable/renewable energy field.
In 2004 I installed my first photovoltaic on my own roof. In 2005 I replaced my oil furnace with a ground source heat pump (GSHP). After training, I got a job with a GSHP company, and continued years of training in renewable and sustainable energy.
I now have a comprehensive background in building efficiency and renewable energy. I became a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor, I certified with the Building Performance Institute, NABCEP (solar hot water), and I'm a certified installer with the International Ground Source Heat Pump
Association. I'm currently getting certifications in photovoltaic, passive house design, permaculture and LEED Green Associate status. I'm qualified to recommend a path for homes and commercial buildings to become healthier, safer, more comfortable, and more energy efficient and sustainable as well.
Hobbies, interests? Well, gardening, theosophy, yoga and supernatural teen romance novels. Oh, and I've got a couple of prissy little cats.