Interns in the City


I was raised in Tupelo, MS, went to school in Lexington, VA, and spent the last summer in Ashton, ID. Sensing a pattern? I’ve never lived in a city, much less one of DC’s magnitude. Forty-five-minute commutes and public transportation are way outside of my past experiences, but I have found those elements much less disconcerting than the “polar vortex” that I plopped myself into at the beginning of the month. I drove in during a snowstorm at the beginning of the month, and I’ve been cold ever since. But that’s beside the point. I’m here in DC, working for Marine Conservation Institute, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Other than being a weeny about below freezing weather, I am a 2013 graduate of Washington & Lee University with an economics major and creative writing minor. I’ve been an ocean enthusiast since I was five when I watched Boyd Matson of National Geographic Explorer get into a shark cage off the coast of South Africa. Fast forward almost twenty years, and I’m working on the Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES) for Marine Conservation Institute. Andy the Australian and I will be working together to develop the socioeconomic aspects of the project. While GLORES is the main focus of my internship, I have gotten to experience a wide range of other projects and events with which Marine Conservation Institute is involved. I’m really looking forward to the next few months with the foundation.




Twenty-one (21) hours – that is the aggregate flight time from Sydney International Airport to Ronald Reagan, Washington DC. Blowing through time zones is an Australians specialty because if you want to go anywhere, you have to fly. The alternative is you drive but it’s a long, long, long drive. And even then it’s only a matter of time before you sink.

I hail from the north-west of Sydney which is one of the lesser populated areas of the city. Nevertheless I enjoy good access to both the beaches and the bush and have always appreciated our relaxed way of life up here in the ‘hills’.

My first impressions of DC have been a mixed bag. This isn’t my first time to the USA. I have previously spent time in DC but this is the first time that I have experienced a polar vortex. Accordingly I have placed an order for a goose down jacket – so watch this space on how that goes.

My time at the Marine Conservation Institute has been very eye opening so far and while this is a new country, the story is very much the same wherever I go. We need to stand up for oceans because we’ve made it increasingly difficult for oceans to stand up for themselves. I am excited to be a small cog in the engine of the work that Marine Conservation Institute does for ocean sustainability.



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