- Name: Natasha Ravinand
- Pronouns: She/Her
- Education: Yale University – Computer Science (class of 2024)
- Location: San Francisco Bay Area
This past summer, I joined NCX as a Data Engineering intern and had the incredible opportunity to build my skills in software development while being a part of the climate solution.
During my time at NCX, I built and presented an internal tool/product, engineered geospatial databases that help power NCX’s statistical models, and contributed code to core operations.
My main project over the summer involved an end-to-end product development process: CloudInterface. CloudInterface is a QGIS plugin developed in Python that allows data engineers and data scientists (DE/DS) at NCX to interface and view geospatial data from Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) in one, simple click. This plugin solves a key issue at the company – pulling in data from the cloud is critical for DE/DS workflows, but it’s a hassle that adds up to valuable development time wasted. As an intern, I had the opportunity to design, engineer, iterate on, and demo this tool in a company-wide presentation.
I also developed a skill set in database engineering. My first project of the summer involved creating a new PostGIS database to update national forest inventory data from the US Forest Service (USFS). This data is an integral part of NCX’s statistical models, but the existing process for updating data was tedious and complicated. Using AWS, Python, and PostgreSQL, I streamlined this process into scripts that channel data from the USFS to an easily accessible database. I was able to build on this knowledge later when I worked on a similar project – developing another PostGIS database to store the geospatial inputs for the Basemap model NCX develops.
Lastly, I had the unique chance to contribute code to core NCX operations. This included: modifying internal tooling to support large Docker resources by utilizing AWS instance volumes, developing utility methods that help support the next generation of Basemap imagery processing, and scripting code to create multi-band raster images that are used in digital marketing assets.
From a purely technical perspective, working at NCX strengthened my skills as an engineer and allowed me to learn important technologies such as Docker, the cloud, and PostgreSQL.
However, my experience was strengthened by NCX’s mission as well as its talented team. As a student interested in the nexus of climate change and technology, working at NCX was a fantastic opportunity to grow my skills while meeting driven and intelligent people democratizing natural capital markets.
I am excited to watch NCX grow, and am appreciative of the opportunity to have been a part of the team this summer!