Project Title: Exploring How Iceland's Climate Initiative May Be Adapted in the U.S.
BASIS Advisor: Matthew Moreland
Internship Location: Columbia University
Onsite Mentor: Robert Farrauto
Imagine living in a country formed atop volcanoes. Well, this is the reality for Iceland, and an important factor in their ability to proactively fight climate change. Due to the arrangement of the tectonic plates below Iceland, they are able to harness the underground heat to fuel 30% of needed energy, with another 70% coming from hydropower. The main goal of my project is to analyze Iceland's efforts towards sustainability, how their geological composition has played a role in this and how these advancements could be applied in the US. One development that could be applied in the US is a shift towards clean energy via hydro, geo, or solar-power as the US currently sources 80% of its energy from unsustainable polluters like fossil fuel. I want to study this topic because climate change is worsening as we speak and I believe my project incorporates a new perspective into solving the climate crisis, specifically in the US. I have collected an assortment of data on Iceland's climate action plan as well as efforts by Icelandic companies to pursue sustainability. I have also researched the United States’ current climate status and the (minor) efforts pursued by comparison. I collected all of this information virtually, but in the future I will be working with out-of-school personnel to gather info, from interviews to collaborations with college professors. Once I complete my research paper, I will have a full analysis of Iceland's sustainability practices and ways they could be applied to the US. The planet we call home is suffering and we have only ourselves to blame. Climate change is a vital topic to bring attention to, and I believe my research question is worth more than just considering; it is worth acting on.