Well the summer has ended and it’s time for me to go back to Monterey and school. I had such a great summer with EDF. I learned so much and was also able to make a contribution to this large body of knowledge. As my final deliverables I: completed a memo on marine restocking – the pros, cons, and in which situations it might be feasible; created visuals and a narrative of blue swimmer crab migration patterns for fishermen in Indonesia, so that they can more effectively plan a management strategy for their fisheries; wrote a white paper on current global efforts to combat IUU fishing, where the gaps lie and how EDF might play a role in filling those gaps – which I’m told will be going to the head of the Oceans department in EDF for consideration; began a draft on the methodology of behavior design and how EDF can use it for current projects around the world. Needless to say, it was a pretty busy summer.
The last couple of weeks at EDF were full of goodbyes and good food.
It was also full of presentations from all of the interns on the projects everyone had been working on all summer. This was probably one of my favorite parts about my time at EDF. Not only were all of the interns fun, intelligent, and kind people, they were all working on such diverse and interesting projects. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own work that we forget the other amazing projects going on around us and how it can have an impact on our own projects. For example, one intern, Vanessa, is currently working on her undergraduate degree in computer science. One project of hers this summer was looking at how blockchain – this is a system currently used to track online transactions such as bitcoin exchange. It is very complex and I’m nowhere near as good at explaining it as Vanessa was – can be used to track goods. This was such an interesting topic and one I knew nothing about before attending her presentation. Not only that, it has huge implications for use in tracking the fishery supply chain. Vanessa also came to appreciate how her CS work can be applicable to environmental issues. It was a great example of a coming together of two worlds to help solve complex global issues. I know this and other lessons I learned at EDF will help me in my career for years to come.
My time at EDF not only gave me a stronger knowledge of my field but also a network of new friends. Although we had to say goodbye and go our separate ways, I know it is not the last time I will see and probably work with many of these people. Now I have a place to stay the next time I plan on visiting the beautiful town of Ithaca, NY. I also loved my time so much at EDF I plan on going back for my last semester for a four to six-month internship.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned at MIIS and again at EDF is that you never really know what might be coming your way in life, but if you’re open to the possibilities and follow your passion amazing things can happen. Back to my first post, I never thought I’d be working for a prestigious NGO, on the 28th floor of an office building in San Francisco, surrounded by other interns from places like Cornell and Princeton, working to help solve complex global fisheries issues, but there I was. It was amazing and exciting and wonderful, and I can’t wait to see what will come next!