EPA Intern

EP…Yay

 

By Gyeongbae Jung

It’s 8 AM. I wake up, shower, put on some clothes, and struggle to find matching socks as I wonder why I didn’t to go to bed earlier. The struggle continues as I get ready to bike to my internship at EPA. I’m not a very good biker, but I lie to myself every morning about how good I am to convince myself to make the trip. I bike past Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, downtown, and the myriads of tourists taking selfies in front of the White House.

Interning at EPA this summer has been a bit surreal for me. I remember I used to stare at these big marble buildings in total awe when my family visited D.C. years ago. Mini me would try to picture what they would look like from the inside and, well, I’m here now. My childhood wonder and imagination have quickly been replaced with rows and rows of doors that lead to unknown offices filled with cubicles, employees, and the hopes and dreams of the American people. As I do my daily walk upstairs to my office, I can’t help but imagine how many people have done the same before me.

I’m an intern at the Office of Web Communications (OWC), or “the office of extreme Facebooking” as my friends would like to call it. I figured nothing would have prepared me more for this internship than the hours I spent procrastinating on social media during finals. But, honestly, that’s a very shallow way to describe the important work this office does. OWC synthesizes content and news, and shares it with the public through various social media channels. According to the American Press Institute, 44% of Americans receive their news through social media. As peoples’ dependence and connectivity to the internet continues to grow, so will the importance of modern media outlets as a way of sharing information with the public. OWC helps the public learn about environmental news and information in 140 characters or less.

Today is the last day of my internship at the EPA. It’ll be 8 AM tomorrow, I’ll wake up, shower, put on some clothes, and once again struggle to find matching socks. I’ll try to lie to myself again, but this time about how I won’t miss the intern struggle. I feel like this time my morning lie won’t be very effective. I sincerely loved my time here, the work I did, the people I met, and the cause I supported. People call it the EPA, but for me it’ll always be the EP….yay.

About the author: Gyeongbae Jung is a sophomore at American University studying environmental science. He works as an intern in the EPA’s Office of Web Communications.

 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Greetings from Liberia

By Jeffery Robichaud

We have been lucky to have some great interns work for our Water Monitoring group over the years, and I know that the staff definitely miss them when the leave and head back to school.  I just received an email from our 2011-2012 intern, Andy, who graduated from KU this Spring and headed off to Africa as a member of the Peace Corps.  He just got back from Liberia a little earlier than he had expected.

Hello!

I hope the past four months have been well for you all, and I bet that sampling this summer was interesting. I heard it has been extremely dry here in the Midwest. Unfortunately the ankle injury that had me in a boot this spring did not heal as the doctors had thought, and I have recently been sent home from Africa back to Kansas to see an orthopedic surgeon. I had a great time during my short stay in the Peace Corps as a physics instructor and hope to re-join once my ankle is fully recovered.
I have been wanting to send you all an email, but there is little to no internet access where I was at in Africa. The living conditions were very basic, and after drinking filtered and bleached rain water for four months, I really appreciate the water quality we have here in America!
These are some of the pictures I have taken in Liberia, West Africa. I thought you all would find the first picture extremely interesting – it is the Republic of Liberia Environmental Protection Agency HQ in the capital city! A nice green building.

I’ve asked Andy to help out with a blog post or two about his experiences in Liberia and with EPA as an intern.  And the picture of Liberia’s EPA building makes me again appreciate our new EPA office, although I am quite partial to this color green (Go Seahawks!)

About the Author: Jeffery Robichaud is a second generation EPA scientist who has worked for the Agency since 1998. He currently serves as Deputy Director of EPA Region 7′s Environmental Services Division.  Much to the chagrin of all the Chiefs fans in the office, he roots for the Seahawks.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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My Semester with the EPA

It was a snowy January day as I commuted on the metro towards the Federal Triangle station to report for my first day of my internship with the EPA. I soon realized that wearing a suit to work (even if it is your first day) in the creative work environment that is The Office of Web Communications was a bit of an oddity, especially when snow was falling. The team was quick to engage me in the ongoing work they do daily to make sure the web presence of the agency is always at its best. This work included, among other items, a much needed update of the EPA History Site, working to analyze trends in our social media outlets, and most recently working to assure the laboratory data from radiation testing on the EPA Japan Nuclear Emergency Site was available and promptly updated.

The history site renovations proved a fun and creative task, exploring ways to breathe life into a site which had been sitting idle for quite some time. Analyzing our social media outlets offered new lenses with which to view the use of social media in a business setting. While the task of filtering data for the Japan Nuclear Emergency gave me a glimpse of the great work the EPA does in times of emergencies to provide the public with all of the information in the best and most effective means possible. Not to mention that all this was happening with a looming threat of a government shutdown in which I witnessed the amount of time and effort that goes into preparations for a shutdown, which is a headache for everyone working in, or with the government.

Furthermore, through my internship with the EPA I was given the opportunity to attend a Committee on Agriculture hearing, at which Administrator Jackson testified, along with the ability to volunteer at the EPA Earth Day Event on the mall. The hearing was excellent because it allowed for me to personally experience the connection the agency shares with congress, while gaining a more in-depth knowledge of the agency itself. The EPA Earth Day Event, on the other hand, found me helping out our multimedia team creating and appearing in short “What I Want” videos. Volunteering at the EPA Earth Day Event gave me a chance to see the passion EPA employees have for the work that they do for the agency.

This past semester has proven time and time again to offer me many great possibilities to work on engaging projects with a fantastic group of people in a great agency. I would highly recommend an EPA internship, and specifically one with the great folks in the Office of Web Communications!

About the author: Ross Frei joined the EPA in January 2011. He is currently a Junior at Luther College where he is double majoring in Management and Economics with a minor in Environmental Studies. His passion for protecting the environment inspired him to spend the second semester of his junior year living in Washington D.C. interning at the EPA, while participating in the Lutheran College Washington Semester.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.