Michael Jarcho '03
Mellon Environmental Intern, Summer 2001
National Council for Science and
Here's what Michael has to say about her experience:
It is a very difficult task to summarize my entire summer experience, working as
an intern for the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), because
there were so many new experiences. Some of these included attending academic
lectures, listening to congressional briefings, and attending and contributing
to committee meetings. Before this summer I had never even seen the Capital
Building, and suddenly I was inside it listening to Congressmen speak about conservation.
The organization I was working for, NCSE is a small non-profit with the main focus
being on bringing together scientists and policy makers to improve the scientific
basis for making environmental decisions. The company thrives because of its
location, Washington, D.C. This location allows faculty to routinely meet with
members of Congress, and it also makes for a very enriching experience as an intern.
One benefit of interning in the nation's capitol is that anyone who really wants
to voice an opinion comes to Washington to speak. As a result, there were lectures
and presentations weekly at the National Museum of Natural History. I attended
many of these, including one on global warming and another on the first habituation
of the western lowlands gorilla. Both of these presentations were very educational,
and for a guy who grew up in a small town without the events a city brings, very exciting. I also attended a lecture at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, in which I had the privilege of hearing the Chief of Staff, William Parsons, speak. I was so intrigued by Dr. Parsons' speech that I wrote him after the event to commend him on his presentation and to request more materials concerning the Holocaust. Within a week I received a return letter, along with many of the museum's publications concerning the Holocaust. This was one of the many experiences that would never be possible anywhere else.
My experiences in the office were just as exciting as those outside. An ongoing
project throughout the summer was the University Affiliate Program, of which Colby
has recently become a member. The Program is a major source of revenue for the
Council and provides the affiliates with many benefits. I played a crucial role
in this project, and by the end of my internship over $350,000 had been raised.
This money will allow NCSE to play its role by making sure that the EPA provides
funding to universities for scientific research, by organizing an annual conference
which affiliates are invited to, and many other functions that benefit affiliates
and improve awareness of environmental issues.
Overall, this internship has been a very rewarding experience. I learned an
incredible amount about many different aspects of environmental policy, and business
in general. I have also gotten to know many people in the field of environmental
policy through the planning committee meetings and congressional briefings that
could be very helpful in the future if I ever need advice or ideas about environmental
science. This summer has also given me a new direction in my plans for the future.
I have had a chance to look into many different graduate programs in Biology and have
begun to narrow down the list of schools that I will apply to during my senior
year at Colby. I recommend Washington, D.C. and NCSE to anyone that is looking
for an internship in environmental policy. I had a great experience with it.