Sierra’s interests lie in the interdependence between institutions and the resulting impact on environmental sustainability, equity, and economic development.
While working for the Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP), Sierra conducted research to identify infrastructural gaps between environmentally sustainable policy and application. Focusing on air quality, energy, watersheds, and waste management, she created a database tracking sustainable legislation in these sectors. Additionally, she was tasked with analyzing municipal climate change initiatives in the Southeastern U.S. and identifying applicable funding sources provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. After reading over 300 city plans, she co-produced a report that was subsequently published, identifying almost 150 plans from 38 cities across 12 Southeastern states, and created an appendix identifying 71 funding sources.
In her urban design studio at the Georgia Institute of Technology, she was on a team that partnered with the Georgia Conservancy and the Habersham County Government in order to create a growth management plan. For this project she created a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program for the county and redesigned the county’s zoning map in order to encourage development along industrial corridors.
Sierra has a Bachelor of Science in Music Management and an Urban Studies Minor from the Georgia State University, and a Master of City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology.