Posts tagged ‘environmental events’

2011 May 12 10:52

Rally, Toasting, Job Hunt

Solar Rally

On May 10, I attended a rally in support of incentives for solar energy at the state capitol building in Salem, Oregon. Mac McDowell of organized a carpool from Portland. Andy Kerr, an early adopter who has had panels on his house since 2001, was kind enough to give me a ride down to Portland. Philip Krain, a financial analyst interested in renewables, also came down with us.

Matthew Lind of Advanced Energy Systems did a great job organizing the event. As everyone gathered on the steps, the sun decided to show its support, too.

There was great energy at the event. But, I would have liked to see more people - regular consumers in addition to the solar contractors and environmental advocates.

Andy and I discussed the future of the solar industry on the way back to Portland. On the one hand, the industry needs all the support it can get from the government. On the other, unlike China and Germany, where there's enough political will to effect expansion, federal and state governments' positions change with administrations and business cycles. And there is perhaps no foreseeable end in sight. Perhaps that is an indication that the industry needs to figure out a way to expand without the government's support. Is that crazy?

Job Hunt

I've been networking and learning electricity and solar technologies in full force for one month. Of course, I've still got a lot to learn. My main missing links now are AC electricity and pretty much everything about photovoltaics (want to take the NABCEP course).

Though I've met many great people and learned a great deal, I haven't found many real job opportunities in solar. I will continue to educate myself about solar and participate in as many events as possible, but now have to expand my job search options to encompass other industries. Show me the money!


Yesterday I became a member of EcoVoices, a new toastmasters club organized by Simon Bosley, who I initially met at a Greendrinks event. I look forward to improving my public speaking and presentation skills as a member of this club. I know it'll be fun!

2011 April 6 18:23

Networking Galore

In line with Greg's recommendations, I've been in job search mode since Monday (it's Wednesday today). I joined a bunch of interesting channels on Twitter, and then started to look for energy-related events in Portland.

The first thing I did was to look up Greendrinks, a networking event for people interested in the environment. I used to go these events after I graduated from college in NYC. Incidentally, there was a meeting on Tuesday. I rejoiced at my luck. I also found out that the Future Energy Conference is taking place in Portland next week. This is right up my alley, just had to figure out how to get in there (tickets are $275). Finally, the Living Greener event takes place at the Beaverton Library on Saturday with solar workshops.

I went to Greendrinks yesterday and met a lot of interesting people. As it turns out, Portland is full of environmental-themed gatherings. I could barely keep up making notes of all that's going on as different people made announcements about various events. I made a connection with Ulrike and Simon, who are organizing a Toastmasters-style public speaking workshop for people interested in the environmental industry. I emailed Ulrike who is an energy efficiency professional after the event. She told me about other environmental happenings.

Today, I called the Future Energy Conference organizers to find out whether I could volunteer at the conference. As it turns out, they had an available spot. I spoke with the volunteer coordinator and she signed me up for Tuesday morning. The volunteer orientation will be on Monday. I'm excited!