Meet Jason, Our New Graduate Research Asst.

When I graduated from college with a degree in plant and soil sciences, I never would have guessed that 6 years later I’d be writing an introductory blog about my upcoming work here at the Urban Initiative. I’ve always been captivated by the winding roads some of us take to finding a career we can be passionate about.

My winding (and occasionally hilly) road leaves me filled with excitement and anticipation as I begin my second year in the MPP program at UMass Dartmouth. During my first year, I was fortunate enough to work with the Town of Dartmouth in a 1-year public policy fellowship designed to present a real-world application of my MPP coursework. The experience was tremendously valuable in a professional sense, but perhaps even more so on a personal level. Not being a native to the South Coast, the fellowship provided a unique setting to begin learning about the challenges and opportunities the region faces, from which my appreciation of its history, charm, and culture quickly followed. So much so that when I cheerfully acquired my new position, Graduate Research Assistant in the Urban Initiative program, my first priority was finding a cozy New Bedford home for Budder and I (the “Bud” and I are pictured below) to experience life on the South Coast first hand.

Looking forward, my hope is to merge my natural resource science and policy background with the more urban focused work taking place at the Urban Initiative. One of my first projects will be helping to launch the Urban Indicators Project, a web-based platform used to present object information, such that the interconnectedness of complex community issues can be interpreted holistically. Whether it’s in an urban focus, environmental focus, or both, trying to understand these overlapping causes of a community problem, obstacle, and/or challenge is fascinating to me.

Thanks for reading!

The author and his fury companion, Bud, are out retrieving water samples for runoff control analysis.

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