Erik is originally from the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where he grew up just outside of Seattle, but currently finds himself on the East Coast living in New York City. Previously Erik spent five years in the United States Navy as a submarine electronics specialist. Living aboard a fully self-sufficient nuclear submarine piqued his interest in technology such as water desalinization and CO2 scrubbing and eventually led him to pursue his current studies as a Sustainable Development major at Columbia University. In his free time Erik enjoys reading, hiking, skiing, trying new restaurants, and riding or driving anything with a four-stroke engine. Whether he is working for a green technology company, a non-profit, or something completely different, Erik looks forward to making a positive impact in his community with Venture for America.