Madeline ‘Maddy” Allen, Bedford High School class of 2015, recently participated in the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, in Glasgow, UK. Allen is a fellow with YEAH (Youth Environmental Alliance in Higher Education,) a network that connects youth around the world and amplifies their voices. It is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
At Glasgow, Allen represented Vanderbilt University where she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her LinkedIn profile describes her focus as “exploring the ways humans interact with and alter the landscape through the built environment, with an emphasis on extreme weather event preparedness and climate-related adaptations.”
At Bedford High, she was introduced to environmental issues when she took the AP class in Environmental Science (aka APES) with Michael Griffin. During her time at BHS, she also participated in The Women in Science competition, Envirothon, Science Olympiad, and the New England Science Bowl.
Once at Vanderbilt for her undergraduate studies she turned her passion for climate issues into a career trajectory and majored in Earth and Environmental Sciences with a minor in Sustainability Studies.
After graduating from Vanderbilt in 2019 she had a series of internships, from being a farm manager on the organic Dragon Fruit farm in Hawaii where, among other duties, she educated visitors on principles of organic farming and the creative solutions used to maximize crop productivity. She then had an interesting internship at NASA where she studied the impact of wildfire on the hydrological functions of the Gila National Forest, NM, using NASA’s Earth observations. After that, she interned with the US Forest Service in Michigan where she conducted geospatial- and field-based research to update the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) for the Huron-Manistee National Forests watersheds.
In Glasgow, Allen had the chance to attend sessions and presentations inside the Blue Zone while representing YEAH in two separate press conferences. You can watch the press conferences below and learn more about YEAH.
Allen said “One of my key takeaways from this week can be summed up through a Nelson Mandela quote that Al Gore reiterated in his speech at COP26 – “It always seems impossible until it is done.”Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees is a monumental task, but COP26 has reminded me that there is already an abundance of solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.”
Recently, Allen was awarded a grant through the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program, funded by the US Department of Transportation, to work on research geared towards using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data to assess the exposure of transportation networks to flood hazards.
Links to the YEAH press conferences where Allen spoke – click each image to view the video
Voices of Optimism, Agents of Change ~ November 3, 2021
Engaging Youth Voices Through Network Alliances: the Youth Environmental Alliance in Higher Education ~ November 8, 2021
To paraphrase Dr. Seuss ~ for all Bedford Grads
“oh the places they’ll go”