MENTORSHIP SPOTLIGHT: Making Space for Long-Term Career Visioning

Mentee Cameron (Cami) Ramey has a background in climate adaptation, community resilience, and climate change communications. Cami has supported a number of nonprofits with policy analysis and research at the nexus of adaptation, urban planning, and environmental justice. Cami is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Environment Review, where she manages a 12-student writing team that translates cutting-edge science for broad audiences. She is also a journalist/producer for Pricing Nature, a podcast that makes climate economics engaging for all. She is graduating this May with a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of the Environment.

Cami is interested in applying her policy analysis and communication experience to supporting local government resilience initiatives. She is especially interested in projects covering coastal issues, flooding, and urban heat and in working with a team that centers equity and social justice.

Mentor Dana Brechwald currently leads a team that seeks to find creative solutions for region-wide adaptation planning along the San Francisco Bay shoreline at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, a California State agency.  The team’s mission is to increase collaboration, provide resources to amplify capacity, elevate a collective voice to funders and legislators, and answer hard questions so cities and communities don’t have to do it themselves. Dana has previously worked on disaster recovery, earthquake, and wildfire planning. Dana’s approach to her work is to identify commonalities and multi-faceted solutions, demystify new ideas, and support the people working in this space so they don’t feel overwhelmed or burnt out but instead empowered to create a better future.

Cami and Dana are working together to lay the groundwork for an engaging post-graduate career in the field of adaptation and resilience. In addition to covering short-time job search strategies, such as networking and salary negotiations, Cami and Dana have also made time to reflect on career values and long-term career visioning. Cami likes to call this exercise “slow-brain thinking”- making time for thoughts and reflections, rather than just immediate tasks.

To start, Cami created her short list of core values and put them in order of priority. Together they compared these values with potential career pathways and job opportunities. As an early career professional, Cami has found these exercises and conversations incredibly helpful in navigating the broad possibilities in the adaptation and resilience field. Cami and Dana are happy to share these strategies with other mentor-mentee pairs.