First Impressions of EDF in San Francisco

As a ’90s kid, my romanticized idea of living in San Francisco was inspired by scenes from Full House, Mrs. Doubtfire, and the Princess Diaries. While San Francisco today is nothing like it was in the movies and shows we grew up with, it’s been an adventure with more culture and history than I could have imagined. Luckily, I arrived a week early to explore the city before starting my summer fellowship. I took that time as my opportunity to see sights I hadn’t been to before, get lost, and learn the transportation system.

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First few weeks with WildAid and the Galapagos National Park

July 24, 2019

It has been almost three weeks since I arrived in the Galapagos and I will be working here until the end of September (my timeline is a bit more flexible than other CBE Fellows as I have finished all my classes at MIIS). So far, the experience has been incredible. The first day I arrived I met with Diana, who is the head of the WildAid program in the Galapagos. She is also who I am living with and has taken to referring to herself as my aunt. I originally thought I would be working primarily under her, but she had slightly different and exciting plans for me.

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First Weeks Finding Fisheries/Aquaculture Solutions for the Environmental Defense Fund in San Francisco

Environmental Defense Fund
San Francisco, California
June 13th - August 23rd, 2019

This summer, I’ll be living in San Francisco doing research for the Environmental Defense Fund. After taking a week long road camping trip through the Eastern Sierra to get here, I settled in quick to life at the office. EDF’s office overlooks the financial district and allows for a stunning view of the bay. Right away I was assigned two projects.  The first project focused on interactions between fisheries and aquaculture.  It is commonly claimed that aquaculture will be a beneficial force for fishing communities that are experiencing declines in their fisheries, but there have not been many studies that focus on the interactions between these sectors.  I am reviewing the literature to find case studies showing interactions between aquaculture and fisheries to determine when this is the case and when these transitions into aquaculture have not improved livelihoods of fishing communities.  I contributed to a database categorizing elements of these case studies so that they can be compared via statistical analysis to inform a paper EDF plans to publish in the fall.   

My second project focuses on the various governance structures and conditions associated with various types of aquaculture.  I am conducting a literature review to develop case studies and to determine what factors contribute to aquaculture that is sustainable, equitably improves livelihoods, and supports people’s nutritional needs and what factors foster destructive aquaculture practices.

So far, I have really been enjoying the work environment at EDF.  The fisheries solution center ensures that everyone on the team, including the interns and research fellows, are up to date on all of the innovative projects that people are working on all over the world.  We also have weekly brown bags for all interns that give overviews of what EDF has worked on as well as some that will focus on professional development skills.  It is great and inspiring to work in a setting where everyone is passionate about their projects and willing to collaborate with each other to find the best solutions possible.  When I’m not in the office, I’ve been enjoying exploring the city and getting out for some trail runs in the Marin Headlands and areas along the Sierra. I am definitely looking forward to the rest of the summer!