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Skidmore University

Publication Date

Fall 2011

Program Name

Australia: Sustainability and Environmental Action

Abstract

I chose to conduct a dual internship with Environment Tasmania and Ocean Planet. Although I was located in the ET office and conducted participant observation within that environment, I specifically worked on the Ocean Planet campaign to promote marine conservation efforts throughout Tasmania. I was drawn to this internship because the oceans are often disregarded within the environmental movement despite the fact that they are the key to life on earth and are in a degraded state. Further, Tasmania’s marine environment is utterly unique, with ninety percent of its marine life found nowhere else on earth. Despite the magnificent biodiversity and endemism of Tasmanian marine life, only one percent of Tasmania’ s waters are protected by marine reserves. This is why Ocean Planet has dedicated itself to working on a local campaign in order to establish a network of marine reserves around Tasmania.

My goals during the internship were to gain independence and confidence, to improve my ability to communicate with the public about environmental issues, and to make an impact on the organization by being there to take on any excess work so that Rebecca Hubbard, the main driver of the organization, could have more time to focus on vital tasks.

During my time at Ocean Planet, I worked on numerous tasks such as advertising, report launches, organizing a discovery weekend, working stalls, conducting research on Macquarie Harbour, and writing letters to government officials. During this process, I collected data through participant observation to gain a deeper understanding of how non-profit organizations work and to comprehend what methods they use to approach their goals.

From these tasks, I learned vital life skills that will aid me in future professional endeavors. These consist of understanding the structure of a strategic organizational plan of action, gaining organizational abilities, being able to communicate with the public about environmental issues, and learning to negotiate and bargain. In the long term, I will be able to bring all of these skills back to the United States with me to aid my professional career. In the short term, I will use these skills to become more involved and improve the campaigns of the environmental group on the Skidmore College campus.

Disciplines

Environmental Sciences | Marine Biology | Natural Resources Management and Policy

 

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