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Picture of Leah Finsie

Leah Finsie

School: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Department: Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning

Research Interests: Conservation and Ecology, Water Science & Systems, Climate Change, Energy Innovation, Cities & Urban Planning

TIE Affiliation

Environmental Research Fellowship

TIE-SEI Intern


The Sustainable Bioenergy and Development at SEI US seeks to better understand the implications of energy use in the developing world and to explore pathways that result in reduced impacts and sustainable outcomes. Hundreds of millions of families throughout the global south continue to rely on solid biomass (wood, charcoal, crop wastes and dung) for their primary energy needs. This creates risks for human health, local environmental degradation, and even global climate. This program collaborates with SEI centers in Stockholm and Nairobi, academic researchers, international organizations, and local partners on several projects to test the feasibility and performance of clean, low-impact energy solutions in a range of countries. This specific project is analyzing the impacts of forest carbon projects on forest fires. With funding from the Hightide Foundation, we will use spatial data to analyze a number of voluntary forest carbon projects implemented by Verra (a non-profit organization that certifies carbon offset projects). We seek to understand whether the frequency and prevalence of fires is different within project boundaries in relation to comparable areas that lack forest carbon activities using GIS tools (ARC, QGIS) and statistical methods.


Leah is a Masters candidate at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in the department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. She expects to complete her studies in May 2022. Leah has a B.S. in Political Science, Sustainability and Geography from Jacksonville University. Before Tufts she was a proud member of Jacksonville University's Division One Women's Rowing Team from 2016-2020. She was also apart of various volunteering activities around the city of Jacksonville, Florida. Her favorite volunteering opportunity was working for Arlington Community Garden which was an organization that grew fresh produce for a local food bank in the area.

Current Studies and Future Goals

When asked what interested her in becoming a TIE-SEI Intern, Leah responded with the following: “The TIE program interested me because I am looking to get my GIS certificate at Tufts and the TIE-SEI Internship was looking for someone with my expertise in mapping. This opportunity was desirable because I deeply care about the area of study that this internship is looking into and i am interested in applying GIS to real world studies. "

After Tufts, Leah plans to work in the environmental protection sector and be a change agent for our country and world's future.

Fun Facts!

When not doing school work, Leah enjoys rock climbing, crocheting, traveling and spending time with friends and family.

Favorite food/drink: Ramen

Favorite movie/TV show: Schitt's Creek

Favorite place you've visited: Yellowstone National Park