Internship Opportunity at a REALLY Cool Organization!

This semester I am working at the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) as a research and publications intern, and loving it! The mission of ELI is to foster “innovative, just, and practical law and policy solutions to enable leaders across borders and sectors to make environmental, economic, and social progress.” It’s a great organization to work at because everyone is really friendly and helpful, and I have been able to make so many valuable connections with experts in environmental law and science. After this semester interning at ELI I am even more excited about someday working in environmental law!

If you are going to be in DC this spring, I highly recommend that you check out this internship opportunity at ELI

National Wetlands Awards Intern: (Deadline to apply November 30, 2011). This is a great opportunity for a journalism or writing student to get experience writing articles for the National Wetlands Awards program and contacting media outlets.

To learn more, check out: http://www.eli.org/About/Employment/nwa_intern.cfm

Students in Action: AU Eco-Sense!

This Monday I attended a meeting with American University’s student environmental group, Eco-Sense. I talked about my project and invited the group to help me spread the word about my blog to other AU students. They were really welcoming, and even gave me some ideas on other places to check out for my blog!

Eco-Sense is a really active organization that has very similar goals to what I have been trying to accomplish with this blog. They are dedicated to promoting sustainability and environmental awareness at American University and around DC. If you attend American University, I highly recommend that you check Eco-Sense out. Weekly meetings are held on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. in MGC 247. It’s a great way to meet other students who are as passionate about the environment as you are!

Join the AU Eco-Sense Facebook group:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/AU-Eco-Sense/261704713869280

Also, check out their website:
http://auecosense.com/

What Do You Think?

I have been having a lot of fun talking to people at organizations around DC and I’m discovering how many volunteering opportunities there are in this city. I’d love your feedback on the experiences I’ve posted so far.

Where should I go next? Do you plan to try any of the volunteering options I’ve described? Want to join me at a future tree planting, Greenpeace rally, or some other volunteer opportunity? Post your comments and I’ll be sure to respond promptly!

Also, please join my Facebook Group for this blog for updates on new blog posts and upcoming DC volunteer opportunities.
http://www.facebook.com/groups/102650216512655/

Where should I go?

In the coming weeks I am going to be interviewing people and volunteering at environmental organizations around DC. This week I emailed 24 organizations about my project, and I have already heard back from a few of them. Stay tuned for my interview recaps and volunteer experiences at the Anacostia Watershed Society and the EnvironMentors program! I’ll be including helpful advice on how to get to these places (I struggle with this sometimes, so there may also be stories about me getting lost on the way). I’ll also talk about what to wear, what to bring, and what to expect if you want to volunteer at one of these organizations. I want to make it as easy as possible for more college students to get involved and give back to the environment!! I’m pretty excited to see what I find out!

If you have any experience volunteering at environmental organizations in the DC area, I’d love to hear about your experiences. Also, feel free to post suggestions on places you’d like me to visit and blog about.

Why I care.

So you might be wondering, why did this girl decide to write a blog dedicated to the environment? Well, here’s the story.

My freshman year of college I was randomly assigned to a mandatory colloquium course titled, “Whiskey’s for Drinking, Water’s for Fighting.” Though I went in with no idea of what to expect, the professor really opened my eyes to the critical water shortages in the West that I had never really comprehended. I mean, I grew up in Minnesota, the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, where basically you dig a hole and it will fill up with water. I learned about the complexities of water issues, which involve domestic needs, agricultural economies, energy production, fish populations, Native American cultures, and the list goes on. Add to these factors a dramatic history of corruption and power struggles over obtaining water, and I was hooked.

The U.S. and the world face many environmental problems today, such as deforestation, climate change, and water shortages, just to name a few. I want people to care about these critical issues as much as I do, so it bothers me that so many people just leave these issues to be solved by someone else. I know there is not an easy solution for any environmental issue, but I want to help as much as I am able. I am currently a Research and Publications Intern at the Environmental Law Institute and I have focused my college studies on environmental policy and politics. I hope to one day become an environmental lawyer with the passion and ability to address environmental policy flaws.

As a college student I know it is difficult to find time to volunteer and give back to the environment. I have to balance challenging classes, a part-time job, an internship, tennis practices and conditioning, and other activities while still finding time to sleep a little bit. But, as a busy student I also know that even the busiest student could always find a few hours a month to volunteer. So, I have decided that I am going to take advantage of my one semester in DC and get involved in the environmental organizations that DC has to offer, and I want to help other college students do the same.

Why I’m Here.

While in DC I have had so many amazing new experiences: new school, new internship, new friends, new places to explore. And now, as the latest in my list of DC adventures, I am writing my first ever blog post!

I want to use this blog to help college students learn how to get involved in organizations where they can give back to the environment. The blog will document my progress for my Activism and Social Media course’s “Do Something” project. I plan to contact, visit, and volunteer at as many environmental organizations that are headquartered in Washington DC as possible over the course of this semester. This blog will document my experiences at each organization, which will include descriptions of my volunteer experience, interviews, photos, advice on how to get involved at each organization, and whatever else I learn about each organization. I want this blog to be a sort of guidebook and forum for other students who don’t have much time in their busy lives but want to get involved in protecting the environment.

As a current Washington Semester student, I know that many of us are excited to explore DC by doing and seeing as much as possible in the three short months that we are here. I want people to realize that once they have visited the monuments, museums, and Capitol Hill, there are so many other ways to get involved and explore this city. Washington DC is the perfect place to get involved in environmental protection because so many incredible national and international organizations have their headquarters or offices in DC. I want to use this project as a chance to make a difference in a problem I am passionate about by helping other students learn how to get involved with important environmental organizations. I believe that volunteering and getting involved at environmental organizations will add greatly to my experience in DC, as it would for any college student who has the opportunity to live in this amazing city. Our nation needs more young people who are passionate about protecting the environment, who then act on this passion by getting involved in some way. Students in DC are lucky because there are many amazing options for geting involved, so I hope my blog will help students realize that even busy college students can benefit from volunteering and giving back.

P.S. After you read my blog, please post comments about your own experiences at the environmental organizations I discuss or other organizations! I’d really love your feedback!!!