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Intern Spotlight: Logan McCoy

“Intern Spotlight” is a series about former CEC interns, detailing their experiences at the organization and finding out what they are up to now. Over the years, hundreds of interns have helped CEC with its environmental programs while gaining useful skills and connections pertinent to their future careers. 

Logan McCoy works as the Environmental Program Coordinator for Patagonia in the Bay Area. Logan is a two-time intern at the CEC. Both internships took place during his undergraduate years as a student majoring in Environmental Studies Major at UC Santa Barbara.

Tell us about your internships at CEC:

During my first internship in the fall of 2008, I helped organize some holiday LED light exchanges in coordination with the South County Energy Efficiency Partnership (SCEEP) in Santa Barbara. I also helped manage carbon offset pledge data, which was collected during community events like Earth Day. During my second internship in the spring of 2010, I worked with the Building Energy team. This led to another internship with the Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County, where I completed a case study of the Santa Ynez Marriott, which was the first green business certified hotel in Santa Barbara County.

You were also an intern for Paul Relis, former Executive Director of CEC. Tell us about that:

During my senior year as a student at UC Santa Barbara, I took an Integrated Waste Management class taught by Paul Relis. At the time, he was working on a memoir chronicling the history of the modern environmental movement in Santa Barbara in the 1960s and 1970s. He hired me to conduct extensive archival research around the history of CEC and how CEC was tied into that movement. I learned so much during this time, such as how CEC forged the path on blue-bin recycling in Santa Barbara County, and helped launch the first commercial newspaper recycling industry in the U.S ., and how CEC has been at the heart of Earth Day since the very beginning. This internship gave me some serious insight in a way that you simply cannot get in a classroom setting. Paul shared some of his memoir at the 2014 Earth Day Festival festivities, which everyone really enjoyed hearing.

Where are you working these days?

Six months after I graduated from UC Santa Barbara, I started working for Patagonia. I worked my way into the Environmental Program Coordinator position at our Palo Alto store, where I coordinate local grant-giving, product-donations, and events. One of the non-profit organizations that Patagonia partnered with is 1% for the Planet, which is a non-profit organization and a network of companies that have all dedicated 1% of their sales to environmental non-profit groups. At Patagonia, which is a fairly large private company, we divvy up that 1% between all of our retail locations, corporate offices, and our distribution center. Here at the Palo Alto store, I present the grant requests that we receive from local non-profit organizations to all the store staff, and I help manage our grant-giving budget. I also help coordinate product donations throughout the greater Bay Area for fundraisers and various events in the community. The skills I developed and the connections I made during my CEC internships have had enormous applications in my role at Patagonia. I utilize the skills I learned in community-level outreach at CEC to collaborate and partner with local environmental non-profits on events.

Tell us more about your work with 1% for the Planet.

Patagonia has a fantastic corporate environmental internship program internally. Employees who have been with the company over a year can apply to work with one of the non-profit organizations that the company partners with and donates to, and for an extended period of time Patagonia will pay that employee’s wages. I applied to work with 1% for the Planet, and was approved for 150 hours. It was an incredible opportunity, the kind I couldn’t pass up. I dropped down to part-time at work in the Patagonia store, and ultimately completed a 300-hour internship with 1% for the Planet. I helped plan a large national event for corporate and non-profit leaders — Connecting the Dots – which was held in Santa Barbara and which the Community Environmental Council was a big part of. The event focused on food, water, and energy issues in California and how they’re all interrelated. The event also addressed all the ways in which businesses can affect those things, how they can partner more closely with non-profits and other business, and how to come up with more sustainable solutions to our current problems. That event took place in February 2014, and it was a wonderful experience.

What’s next?

I’m currently working half-time at Patagonia and half-time with 1% for the Planet and am looking forward to attending the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in the fall. I plan on earning a Master’s in Environmental Management, most likely with a specialization in Business and the Environment.

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