Welcome to our new Sustainability Intern!

We are very lucky to have Julia Eagles join our sustainability team this spring. She is currently a graduate student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the U and will be providing her skills to help us communicate our sustainability program and its associated metrics. Below she has written a brief narrative about herself, so be sure to stop by the intern workstation area on level 4 to welcome her and introduce yourselves. Welcome, Julia!
-Shengyin Xu

Hi everyone! My name is Julia Eagles and I am the new Sustainability Intern here at the Minnesota Historical Society. As part of my internship this spring I’ll be blogging here, producing information graphics and other visual communications about the More for the Mission campaign and helping to plan events. I hope through this position to increase my (and hopefully your) awareness of sustainability implementation and measurement, particularly in the context of the museum and historic sites. I’m excited to be joining the MHS team, especially in supporting efforts to make the Historical Society more sustainable! Since I’ll be posting here pretty regularly this spring, I thought I would tell you a little bit more about myself and how I got here.

I was lucky enough to grow up in the great state of Maine, in a small rural town in the Midcoast area called Richmond (anyone out there familiar with Maine geography?). After finishing high school, I took a year off to explore my options before starting college. I spent the year working on a family farm in my hometown, then in southwest Arizona living at a National Wildlife Refuge, and finally in the mountains of New Hampshire working for the Appalachian Mountain Club. The following September I made my way out to St. Paul to start my first semester at Macalester College. While there I studied Environmental Science, with concentrations in Geography and American Studies, spent time traveling in Ecuador, Nicaragua and Morocco, and played quite a few games of Ultimate Frisbee. Over the course of those 4 years I also fell in love with the Twin Cities, and decided to stick around.

Since graduating from college I’ve worked for a number of environmental organizations locally- doing youth urban gardening work, supporting community energy projects, and promoting recycling and composting. I had been interested in environmental issues for quite a while, but turned into a full-blown energy nerd somewhat accidentally. I didn’t know a whole lot about the technical side of energy, but found it was a great way to engage and educate community members to start thinking about where their electricity comes from and the impacts of producing and transmitting it. Energy is not something people are necessarily all that aware of, and yet we use it pretty much every day. I love talking to people about ways they can change behavior or update equipment to help save energy, and how to measure the impact of those changes. So, if you ever want to nerd out with me about light bulbs or your utility bill, please stop by and chat!

I’m now in my first year at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of MN, in a Master of Public Policy program. My concentration is in Environmental Policy, and I hope to continue working in the sustainability industry, supporting community groups to plan and execute projects. This internship is a great fit for me, as a chance to see the implementation of sustainability initiatives from an institutional perspective, and learn how to effectively communicate the goals and results of those initiatives- particularly the data- to staff and community members. As a newbie to the museum and history scene, I’m finding it really interesting to be at the History Center and part of the intern cohort thus far.

Our South Minneapolis bungalow!

In my free time (what little I have now that I’m in grad school), I enjoy biking, growing, cooking and eating good food, taking trips to the Boundary Waters and other beautiful locations, and Skijoring with our black Labrador. My partner and I are new homeowners in South Minneapolis, and we’re always looking for ways to make our 100-year old, story-and-a-half bungalow more energy efficient!

Stay tuned for future blog posts on energy benchmarking, choosing the right light bulb, tips to reduce your environmental footprint at work, and more! I want to hear from you! Please share with me your ideas and suggestions for improving sustainability at the MN Historical Society.