Social Impact Internships: Grace Rojo (’24)

My name is Grace Rojo, I am a rising junior studying math with a minor in literature. This summer I’ve worked with Northwest Riverpartners as a Clean Energy Research Intern. We are a hydropower advocacy group.

When I hear of Northwest I think of rain

I picture trees, greens, and rivers repute

And it’s clear that those there care to sustain

So in my time, I’ve tried to follow suit.

We work to educate to keep the dams

For without them we wouldn’t stand a chance

To net-zero emissions by the plans.

It’s been shown that our dams toil to enhance

All that power provides this region still.

Protecting smolts and grown salmon, we do

Through increased flow over the top for “spill”

Plus visuals on return ratios, too.

   We hope to explain why the dams should stay,

   And we fight to keep climate change away.

I wrote my reflection as a sonnet in iambic pentameter. I chose this medium to represent my reflections and thoughts because much of what we do involves taking research that we, or others, have done and making it more digestible. For example, one of my projects was to take research that a group had done on smolt-to-adult return ratios for Chinook salmon and turn it into a colorful map. It took data that was inaccessible and presented it in a more pleasing and visually striking way. 

Choosing to do my reflection as a sonnet caused me to only pick what I had deemed most important about my work: that those in the pacific northwest did truly care about their environment, that we worked to follow plans to keep carbon emissions as a net-zero, that we focused on concerns about salmon health, and that our end goal was to keep the dams to help fight climate change. Choosing to do my reflection in iambic pentameter caused me to try to make that information easily understandable and memorizable. Iambic pentameter was used often by Shakespeare to help people memorize his plays and to keep everyone on a rhythm, such as I have tried to use it in the same way. In my work, I’ve done the same. We try to make our research more accessible for the general public in the same way that iambic pentameter makes this sonnet more accessible for memorization. On the other hand, iambic pentameter allows the sonnet to stand out and be more pleasing to the ears. We try to make our data stand out and be more visually appealing. 

Tags: Climate, Social Impact Internships, Social Impact Internships Summer 2022

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