I can’t believe that this is my fourth week working at WildAid. It seems like it was my first day only yesterday and yet I feel like I’ve been there forever. The first couple days I met my new co-workers and had a large stack of reading materials to get up to date with the different company projects.
Thankfully, from the second day onward, I’ve been an active participant in every marine project. My assignments have involved everything from translating reports from Ecuador to English and researching potential sponsors to writing a publication on marine enforcement for dissemination in the winter and navigating the ins and outs of planning a conference.
Needless to say, life at WildAid is anything but boring and I am constantly learning something new.
P.S. The celebrity PSAs are definitely one of my favorite discoveries — I really liked this one with Harrison Ford!
It’s nice there are so many other students from MIIS in DC. We’ve had several opportunities to hang out: a happy hour put together by Nelle Sacknoff (MPA), the DPMI happy hour put together by Jessy Bradish (IEP) (which the rest of us MIISers crashed), MIIS alumni happy hour put together by Leah Gowron. And one night several of us (Leah Severino, Jaime LeBlanc-Hadley, Adam Fullerton, & myself) went out to Lisa (Johnston) & Dodon’s apartment to make some pizza and hang out.
I’ve spent some time the last few weeks reviewing presentations and documents from a Trinational Fisheries Exchange between representatives from Cuba, Mexico and the U.S. My task is to synthesize the weeklong exchange into a cohesive report that can be shared with the participants, fisheries stakeholders and donors.
While scanning the material and a photo from the exchange, I recognized one of the Mexican fishermen—Emilio. I met Emilio in 2008 during a fishermen’s exchange I organized with Dominican fishermen to Mexico. Emilio fishes for lobster in Punta Allen and is a “celebrity” in the world of cooperative fisheries management. His enthusiasm for community management of the fishery makes him a sought-after participant on fisheries exchanges. Emilio spent several days with our group of Dominican fishers in 2008. He took us fly fishing (I even learned to properly cast the line!) and diving for lobster. Emilio and I have emailed periodically over the past few years. He’ll let me know the year’s total catch and how he’s doing. I’ve shared with him about my studies and career aspirations. I was excited to know that Emilio traveled to Cuba for the exchange. We exchanged emails last week and I let him know that I still have plans to return to visit him.
The IUCN office sits on the 3rd floor of a building in Dupont Circle. sharing a floor with a think tank called Eco Logic, and an NGO focused on arctic conservation. The other floors of the building are occupied by the Embassy of Gabon, the Iraqi cultural center, and Human Rights Watch – an interesting mix! There’s only about 10-15 people from IUCN in the office on any given day. Most of the program officers travel very frequently, and a lot of people work as consultants rather than full-time staff, so it’s often very quiet.
Being an intern in a small office has its perks though, since it’s easier to get to know people and I can easily drop by anyone’s office and ask them if they can spare a minute to chat with me about their program. I hope to do more of that in the coming month!
A great thing about D.C. is the plethora of marine related conferences, seminars, and lectures taking place nearly everyday, and luckily my boss always encourages me to go to anything I’m interested in. I’ve been to a dozen events already, and going to another later this week at the World Bank.
Next post, I’ll write more about the work I’m doing here, and other cool stuff going on in D.C.!
I thought San Francisco summers were supposed to be bad. Ya know, foggy and grey. Turns out, so far San Francisco out performs Monterey. The sun has been out full force all week in San Fran. I’ve spent my lunch breaks walking along the Embarcadero and enjoying the sailboats on the Bay.
Today, I’m working from home in Monterey. It’s grey here. I suppose that eliminates the temptation of taking an extended lunch break! Ah, Northern California summers. (I know, D.C. people, I know!)
A few weeks ago a group of EDF’ers and I headed to the California Academy of Science’s Nightlife. The Cal Academy, if you haven’t been there, is that cool building in Golden Gate Park with a living roof. Each Thursday night they stay open late for the 21+ crowd. A D.J. spins some tunes, bars are arranged around the exhibits and a selected theme is celebrated. We attended the Cal Academy’s Sustainable Seafood evening with the purpose of hosting a game that the EDF Catch Share Design Center developed.
The game, Go Fish, No Fish, uses chopsticks (rod & reel), toy shovels (trawl net) and little plastic fish to illustrate how traditional fisheries management frequently fails the ocean and fishermen. Nightlife participants were invited to play a 5 minute game of Go Fish, No Fish. My role was to facilitate the game to ensure that it was fun yet instructive. This task meant retaining the attention of the participants, despite the DJ’s tunes, abundance of mixed drinks and promise of free oyster samples just 10 yards away. Game players quickly engaged in “fishing” for the plastic fan-tailed goldfish. They learned that shortening the fishing season caused a race for fish (imagine a group of adults racing to “catch” plastic goldfish with chop sticks!). The last fishing round illustrated how catch shares encourage fishermen to fish safely, get involved in protecting fish stocks and increase profits. The game players were surprisingly engaged and interested in issues of fisheries management. Nice job, San Francisco residents!
After my shift of facilitating Go Fish, No Fish I explored the Cal Academy’s reptile collection and aquarium, caught the sunset from the living roof and watched a show in the Planetarium. Unfortunately, the oysters were gone by the time I got there.
Wow. Here I am. This childhood dream of mine, come true: working at the World Wildlife Fund. Yes, it’s as an intern, and true, WWF is not paying me…but I am at WWF US headquarters, working on important documents and contributing to conservation in a measurable and meaningful way. Thirty-one years is a long time to wait for that dream to come true, and I have worked really hard to get here! Now that I’m here, I am trying my best to stay focused and produce high quality work as fast as possible, to help my team make all their deadlines preparedly. I feel welcome here with my own cubicle with a name tag. Sometimes, it’s the little things.
I am impressed with how enormous the WWF building is (7 stories with 4 dedicated to WWF work), and how many people work here (I estimate between 400-1000 individuals). It’s hard to tell, exactly, because so many people work from home or travel so often for work. Everyone is generous and friendly, and so far most people make a point of introducing themselves to the new people they don’t recognize (me and the other interns). I spent a full day in orientation when I first arrived: some history of WWF, discussion of WWF ethos and projects, and nuts-and-bolts topics.
There’s a Trader Joe’s a block away, and a field out back where people play ultimate frisbee and soccer most days at lunchtime (phew, a bit too hot for me this week, though I did make it for one game). Mostly, I just work hard. More on what that entails to come.
Steam from the manhole covers, and the hot, hot sun.
I arrived in D.C. almost 2 weeks ago. I stayed the first couple nights with a friend from high school, but started working at WWF the morning after I arrived. It’s been HOT.
I was so glad to spend most of a year in a place where the temperature hovered around 60 degrees, but I am one of the few people who really likes humid heat in the summer. When I found out I got to be in D.C. for the summer one of the things I was looking forward to was enjoying a real swealtery SE summer rather than staying in Monterey, where I hear (and Ben is confirming) it stays overcast and cool for several months. And hot and humid it has been. I do like it, though I admit I like humidity best when the temperature is under 90 degrees F. Above that, it really feels like walking in a stagnant oven.I was so glad to spend most of a year in a place where the temperature hovered around 60 degrees, but I am one of the few people who really likes humid heat in the summer. When I found out I got to be in D.C. for the summer one of the things I was looking forward to was enjoying a real swealtery SE summer rather than staying in Monterey, where I hear (and Ben is confirming) it stays overcast and cool for several months. And hot and humid it has been. I do like it, though I admit I like humidity best when the temperature is under 90 degrees F. Above that, it really feels like walking in a stagnant oven.
One of the cool things D.C. has to offer is a free concert every day of the week, 365 days a year, at 6pm at the Kennedy Center, a mile from WWF. I have been twice so far. It gives me something to do after work aside from just going home, and allows me to support these (great but unknown) artists despite being poor. It’s nice to feel independent, sitting amongst a different group of people than my co-workers or my MIIS friends, enjoying live music in a beautiful setting.
I spent the past 4 years before coming to MIIS in Indonesia, working with several NGO’s in the field of sustainable development. After seeing first hand the extent that Indonesia’s marine and forest resources are being destroyed and degraded, I wanted to learn about policies that can incentive their conservation. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to intern with IUCN’s Blue Carbon Initiative this summer, where I will be researching how mangrove forests can fit into the international REDD+ policy framework. I’m hoping this internship will be a building block to a future career working on climate change policy and sustainable development in Indonesia.
Blue Carbon: Mangroves in Indonesia
I arrived in DC last weekend in the midst of a shockingly hot heatwave. Now that it’s cooled off a little and I’ve spent a few days getting oriented in the office, things are looking good. Earlier this week I attended a lecture on forestry modeling at WWF headquarters with Alyssum. Next week is Capitol Hill Ocean Week, so I’ll be attending lectures and events related to ocean policy issues all week. Should be a great networking opportunity! DC has so much going on, two months is going to fly by!
I found housing in San Franscico. Technically, it’s a walk in closet. Practically speaking, it fits a queen size mattress, a chair and my suitcase. And it comes with two lovely roommates–a friendly girl my age and a sweet kitty named Joley.
Most importantly, my summer digs are within 2 blocks of the old Full House house! If you don’t understand, you’re too young. What ever happened to predictability?