My name is Mary Nicol. I'm from Illinois. I go to the University of Illinois at Chicago where I am a Masters in Urban Planning and Policy candidate.
What got you interested in sustainability?
I became interested in how humans could lessen their impact on the environment as a kid who was distraught about the local river being polluted. As I began my undergraduate coursework, I began to learn the language and theories behind sustainability and I've been hooked ever since. There are so many healthier, more affordable and safer ways in which humans could be interacting with the planet.
What sustainability, energy, and mobility issues are important to you?
As renewable energy becomes even more prevalent, I'm eager to explore how we set up systems of community control vs control by utilities, and how we rapidly improve our grid infrastructure. I'm also interested in making sure their is equitable access issues around public transportation.
What exciting projects/research are you working on now?
What are your plans for the next five years?
I will complete masters in Urban Planning and Policy at UIC and find a position that enables me to have a positive impact on the transition to a clean energy economy.
What made you want to apply to SISE?
The theme of the program is why I left my job of ten years in the non-profit sector to pursue graduate studies. Through SISE, I'm eager to gain a better understanding of the technology behind the solutions i've advocated on behalf of for years.
What are you most looking forward to doing in the city?
I'm happy to play tour guide, and here is what is in my short list: baseball games, hang out near or on the lake, bike rides, fireworks and food. Lots of food!
Do you like cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?
They are fine, but I'm more in the dog camp. Here is mine.