Prior to attending Johns Hopkins SAIS, Joel worked for the World Resources Institute on the New Climate Economy, a project on the economics of climate change. He hoped to continue this focus as a graduate student. After researching different programs, he found that Johns Hopkins SAIS offered a strong Energy, Resources and Environment program, and the breadth of ERE classes convinced him to apply. He also wanted to develop his statistics and economics skills, and he knew that was something that school emphasized. Joel was officially sold on attending the school after meeting an impressive group of potential future classmates at the school’s Orientation for newly admitted students. Now, in his second year at the school, Joel is grateful to be surrounded by people with so many different experiences who are so engaged with the world.

One of Joel’s top experiences as a student so far was a study trip he took last year to Seoul, Korea. There he learned about the city’s ambitious plans on solar power and he had the chance to meet with city and national government officials, researchers, professors, and engaged citizens. One of the major takeaways from the trip was seeing the challenge of implementing solar power on a large scale from many different perspectives. Upon returning, Joel and his classmates wrote a policy memo based off their research during the trip.

In his second year at the school, Joel was also honored to be awarded the DACOR Bacon House Foundation Fellowship. During the interview process, he was able to visit the DACOR Bacon House and speak with a number of former US Foreign Service Officers. He really enjoyed hearing stories about their work in diplomacy and how the world has changed.

After graduating, Joel plans to work on climate policy and sustainable development, possibly for another think thank. He is also considering government, which has stemmed from his experience interning for the State Department in the Office of Global Change this fall.