2017 Intern Spotlight: Ian Wilkinson

Ian Wilkinson

Home Institution: College of William and Mary

Major: Chemistry

“This has been, by far, the most satisfying, engaging, and productive work experience I’ve ever had. I met a lot of amazing people – both interns and CNS experts – who are open, available and easy to talk to.

I very much appreciated the sense of accomplishment that I got from finishing actual projects and creating real, useful products. This occurred on a number of occasions, even if it was something that seems as small as finding a potential chemical weapons testing site in the Syria desert using Google Earth. That feeling of accomplishment is hard to come by in student internships – I’ve never felt this way after any other summer internship or work. Another highly positive experience I had was the clarity and confidence in my future path that this internship gave me. All of the previous experiences that I’ve had have only shown me what I don’t want to do. This internship was the exact opposite – it showed me precisely what I want to do.”

Ian Wilkinson created an interactive map showing the locations of dozens of chemical weapons dumping sites across the world. This map helps to put into perspective the wide reaching effects that chemical weapons can have, not just on people but on the environment as well. The map and accompanying report can be viewed here.