A Global Outlook: Maria Morales Ferrebus
Maria Morales Ferrebus knows that climate change is the crisis of her generation. As an intern with the Global Warming Mitigation Project’s Constellations Program, she’s getting a chance to be part of the solution.
Maria interns with Crowdsourcing Sustainability, and is creating a sustainability guide for Universities made by students, for students. Their goals are introducing sustainability curriculum, divesting from fossil fuels, and helping universities reduce greenhouse gas emissions. She is helping turn the guide, which was previously only available as a PDF, into an interactive website.
“I was looking for something to do this summer, and was obviously preferring a remote position because it was more safe. I kept getting emails about cancelled internships with all of the changes due to the Coronavirus. it was difficult to find something that I could do in a remote setting.”
What made the business major with an environmental studies minor seek out a position in the sustainability field? Maria’s passion for climate change action was instilled in her at a young age growing up in Venezuela, a country with no shortage of natural beauty, as well as environmental issues.
“Growing up, we travelled a lot to the beaches, mountains, rivers and jungles of Venezuela. We spent a lot of time in nature and I loved it, but I do remember a time that concerned me. One day my family was swimming at the lake and although it looked clean, when I came out I had oil all over my body. My brothers and cousins had oil all over their bodies and it was hard to clean it off. It was one of the first times I remember the effects of pollution in a relevant way, and although I was a little child, I was concerned.”
This concern for the environment only grew in college. Maria learned about issues that opened her eyes to the negative effects of climate change and global warming.
“When I went to college and learned about the climate and environment crisis, it was a reality check. I learned about the garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean and microplastics. I was actually very depressed and concerned. I knew we were doing so much harm to the planet but I didn’t know what we could do about it.”
Maria’s interest grew, as did her desire to be a part of the solution. She attended conferences and workshops and made connections with others who held a similar passion. The more she learned about the environment the more she realized that solutions were out there, they just needed to be implemented.
“I learned of ways that we could do something about climate change. I learned about reducing our CO2 footprint. Putting a price on pollution, putting a price on Carbon. I felt like I found my passion.”
The passion has led Maria to consider sustainability as a career path, and she’s narrowed her interest down to focusing on the energy grid and the importance of energy resilience.
“One of my goals is to help countries that have severe problems with their energy grid be more resilient by utilizing renewable energy.”
One of these countries is, of course, her home of Venezuela - but the problem is a global one, with global solutions. With her position at Crowdsourcing Sustainability, she’s collaborating with like-minded, climate-oriented people worldwide - from Boston to Nepal.