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I started working on environmental planning while doing my Master’s at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning. My background is in architecture, and I began my planning career working at the intersection of green infrastructure and public spaces. I also became involved in a project that touched on climate risks, monitoring, and community-based adaptation, which expanded my work into environmental topics more generally. Our work in Colombia started with a deep engagement process, and allowed us to build both institutional relationships and a research agenda that became the starting point for multiple research projects leveraging technology development and community-based planning . Through working with local groups in two strategic ecosystems in Colombia – the Amazon and Chocó – we identified local priorities and opportunities for MIT to collaborate combining topics like climate change and risk management, deforestation reduction, sustainable development, and biodiversity management in urban areas, among others. This is the origin of the pipeline of projects that became the program that I manage, the Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) Program at the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI).