Meet Roshan Sivaraman, 2024 Climate Ready Boston Intern

The Boston University Initiative on Cities is happy to announce that Roshan Sivaraman (CFA, Pardee ’26) has been selected for the summer internship working with the Climate Ready Boston team on bus shelter pilot projects to advance heat and stormwater resilience. The projects aim to provide cooling or green infrastructure enhancements to bus stops to keep residents cool while managing stormwater. Roshan will work in Boston City Hall and “on the ground” in many of Boston’s neighborhoods to speak with residents and commuters, conduct data collection, and work with the Climate Ready Boston team to create educational and informational materials about their work on heat resilience. Roshan will also work with other departments within the City of Boston and nonprofit organizations working on climate resiliency. Climate Ready Boston is the City’s initiative to prepare for climate change’s impacts. The Climate Ready Boston team works to implement the City’s 2022 “heat plan,” Heat Resilience Solutions for Boston, which identifies strategies to address existing and future impacts of extreme heat.

Roshan Sivaraman is a rising junior pursuing a Dual Degree in International Relations (BA) and Voice Performance (BM) at BU: they are particularly interested in studying human-state-environment relations. This past semester, they studied in Singapore and traveled through Southeast Asia. They worked with the National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute on a conservation awareness project and with the People’s Movement to Stop Haze on a peatland conservation project. They are also mezzo-sopranos with a love for German lieders. Roshan is excited to work with Climate Ready Boston to make the city of Boston a more resilient place to live.

What made you want to apply for this internship/fellowship?

Boston, like all major cities, has a unique and evolving set of climate challenges. I spent this past semester in Singapore because I was curious about how people interact with the environment in a very top-down, orderly state. Boston is not like Singapore, which is a shiny new planned state. Instead, it has one of the oldest public transit networks in the world, one which gets the job done well enough but often leaves much to be desired. Boston, like most other cities in the Northeast, has very little air conditioning infrastructure. I live in Boston now, so I want to make it more livable. I applied for BU’s Climate Ready Boston internship to learn how to do so.

How did you first become interested in climate resiliency?

My interest in climate is the way people interact with the climate. In high school, I wrote a paper for my AP US History class about Chinese-American grocery stores on the West Coast and how the ingredients we have access to shape our cultures. This turned into a broader interest in food history. Then, as a freshman at BU, I took a fantastic WR120 seminar on environmental history, in which my professor (the fantastic Ted Fitts) encouraged me to explore my rapidly growing interest in human-environment relations. It might sound silly or even anthropocentric, but I am interested in climate resiliency because the environment is a container for culture. I care about finding how we can make that relationship mutually beneficial, both for ourselves and for the natural world around us.

What are you most looking forward to this summer?

I am so looking forward to being an active community member and exploring Boston from a perspective I haven’t yet been able to experience. This spring semester, I have been so fortunate to travel to places so unlike home; this summer, I can’t wait to meet new people, forge new connections, and ultimately discover Boston as if it were somewhere I’ve never been before.