Meet our team: Nicholas Britton, Analyst

Meet Nick! Nick started as a Research Fellow here at EFI and was promoted to an analyst. A musician at heart with a desire to visit Antarctica, Nick is passionate about the natural world and hopeful of a better future for our planet.

Nick on an early spring hike in the White Mountains while in college.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

There are two childhood dream careers that come to mind:

  1. Musician — Music has always been my passion. As a baby, some of my first words were asking my parents to turn up the radio, and I was often found banging on pots and pans in the kitchen. Playing and listening to music continue to be my main outlets in life, allowing me to build connections with people and places, and express myself. I’ve been able to live out this dream in a few ways; I learned how to play the saxophone, guitar, and any other instruments I could get my hands on while growing up, joined a garage band with friends, and sang in an acapella group through college.
  2. Cartographer — When I was a little kid, my grandfather gave me his old atlas from the 1970s, and I’d spend hours comparing it to the globe I had. I collected maps and would try to redraw them with the pinpoint accuracy of an eight-year-old. There is so much information packed into maps, and I’m fascinated by how natural landscapes and international borders can illustrate and inform many of the geopolitical, socioeconomic, and environmental issues facing our world today. I often find myself aimlessly scrolling around on Google Maps and looking at different places in the world out of curiosity.

What was your most rewarding experience prior to working at EFI?

One of the most rewarding work experiences prior to joining EFI was interning for Dartmouth College’s Sustainability Office. I worked for the office while Dartmouth began planning major overhauls to the campus’s energy infrastructure. I worked with campus operations to develop plans for cleaner and more efficient power and heating, tracked the campus’s greenhouse gas emissions, collaborated with town government officials on local energy policy, and engaged the student body and local community in energy issues. These experiences sparked my interest in renewable energy and introduced me to the importance of community-wide engagement in energy transitions.

What’s the best thing about working at EFI?

The people at EFI! In the short period I have had the opportunity to work at EFI, I can tell that there is something special happening here. My colleagues are incredibly passionate about their work and helping our society justly and equitably decarbonize. They have made my passion for this area of work only stronger. There is also a very strong sense of community, which I think is a big part of why EFI does such rigorous and meaningful work with visible impacts on legislation and decision-making across the country.

What gives you hope for the future?

In all honesty, sometimes it is difficult to have hope for the future in this area of work. Addressing climate change and decarbonization are uphill battles for humanity. However, what keeps me going is the growing dedication I see to address this issue and the increasing number of people and groups devoting their efforts to combat climate change. As acknowledgment and action continue to grow, I have faith that humanity can rise to this challenge and keep the pedal to the metal (in an electric vehicle, of course).

What is one thing on your bucket list (professional or otherwise)?

One thing that has always been at the top of my bucket list is to visit Antarctica. For one, I have always been obsessed with penguins — by far my favorite animal. Although it isn’t directly related to our work at EFI, I still believe visiting a place like Antarctica would help solidify why the work that we are doing is so important. Antarctica is one of, if not the last, virtually untouched environments on our planet; it is one of the few conservation success stories in global environmental politics. But more importantly, it is one of the places we will lose first if we do not rapidly decarbonize. Places like Antarctica are key to the balance of our global ecosystem, and I would love to see its pristine, striking, and “chilling” landscape up close.

What is your favorite song at the moment?

I typically have an entire playlist of favorite songs at any given moment, but recently I’ve found myself listening to “Say What You Will” by James Blake quite a bit. It’s pretty slow and sad, but the vocals are really beautiful and give me goosebumps every time I listen.

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