EDF Mid-Internship Update

Hello again! I am back with an internship update. I am actually nearly finished with my time at EDF this summer, but wanted to give a quick summary of what I am working on before I report back with a post-internship review. 

I am currently working on my final deliverables. They have been a work in progress throughout my internship, but I am doing the majority of my writing/editing now. Previously I was mostly doing research, data gathering, expert interviews, and sitting in on day-to-day meetings at EDF. Our team ended up choosing the Philippines as the target country for EDF’s seaweed program, so I have started working on a country specific seaweed aquaculture proposal, along with my more general seaweed-NDC roadmap.

A slight road-bump was that I was not able to schedule two of my expert interviews until just last week, so I have been playing catchup trying to incorporate those results. I can’t complain though, these are busy people, and I am grateful that they take the time that they do to fit me into their schedules. My last two interviews were with Jennifer Howard (vice-president of the Blue Carbon Program at Conservation International, and Coordinator of the Blue Carbon Initiative) and Ruth Parker (Senior Scientist at the UK’s Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science). Ruth was a wealth of information on the actual science of quantifying carbon sequestration within blue carbon ecosystems. Quick summary; it’s complicated. She is part of a push within the UK to include its tidal marshes and wetlands in NDC mitigation commitments. She also discussed the knowledge gaps when it comes to the carbon sequestration of seaweed. A major difficulty with quantifying carbon sequestered by seaweed is that is has a very short lifespan. Unlike mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes, seaweed cannot store carbon in root systems or sediment. The carbon is in the biomass of the seaweed itself, so what happens to the biomass determines the carbon sequestration amount and duration.

My next steps are to finish my deliverables (the Seaweed-NDC Roadmap, and the Philippine’s specific Seaweed-NDC proposal) and then give a final presentation to my supervisor and possibly our Ocean’s team (time dependent). 

Thanks for reading and I am excited to give my final update and overall internship review soon!

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