Youth Representative: Alyssa Soucy

Youth Representative: Alyssa Soucy

From a young age, Alyssa Soucy was fascinated with graphs, maps, and data But it wasn’t until she attended college in Lowell, Massachusetts that she learned about climate change in an academic setting. As Soucy undertook a degree in geology, she learned about earth systems and earth history but recognized that her interests expanded beyond the physical aspects of the earth and into the human dimensions and interactions with these systems.  

“I saw the Merrimack River running through Lowell, and witnessed how different communities came together to protect this natural resource that was once used to power the mills of the town.” While Soucy credits her exposure to nature as a child as her motivation in climate-related work, she also claims that engaging with the community around the Merrimack in Lowell, strengthened her resolve to return to graduate school to study the human experience of climate change.  

Once Soucy moved to Maine to attend the University of Maine’s School of Forestry for her master's degree, and then the School of Environmental Science for her Doctorate, she quickly found channels for involvement with the Maine Climate Council.  

“For the initial Maine Won’t Wait climate action plan, there was an open call for youth representatives. I saw this work as a way to engage with my new community in Maine and to support climate action at a local level.”  

Since the first iteration of the Maine Climate Action Plan, Soucy has worked with the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, a group that is tasked with providing the scientific background that the working groups may need to make their recommendations to the Climate Council.  

“Being a youth representative has given me a great opportunity to share a youth perspective with the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and it has also connected me to other young people who are invested in Maine’s climate future.”  

Soucy mentioned that while her background is in science and social science, she is highly motivated by educating youth and amplifying their voices and stories.  

“The communication of these topics at a young age is key. I am passionate about increasing opportunities for youth to access nature and outdoor spaces—that is what cultivates interest later in life. As a young person, it is so important to know that your voice matters—that you have valuable contributions that shouldn’t be overlooked.”  

Soucy finds hope in the action she has seen young people take around the state, remarking that she aims to further this positive impact by combining her academic background with her passion for educating youth about nature and climate change.