Ariel Kagan '11
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) - Washington D.C
Major: Economics Minor: Environmental Studies
As an intern at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington D.C. I was able to observe first hand the direct response to the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill. For ten weeks I worked side by side with the DWH team a.k.a. the “War Room” where each day was filled with discussion and action to respond to the gulf situation. Throughout my internship I was able to work with many different people, including NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Chief-of-Staff Margaret Spring, the General Counselor Lois Schiffer, and the directors of the War Room, David Kennedy and Dave Westerholm. I assisted with preparing the Strategic Plan for the DWH response, and was put in charge of “War Room Logistics” which included updating the intranet site and preparing morning reports for the daily conference calls.
Most important were the relationships I developed with the War Room staff. Throughout the day we would spend time talking about how they came to be where they are now and what advice they have for someone like me. This summer experience was extraordinarily fulfilling and I learned more than I could have imagined about the oil spill, how the government involves itself in environmental issues, and how to make my aspirations a reality. None of this would have been possible without the generous funding and support of the MHC Center for the Environment. I look forward to sharing what I learned this summer with my peers at school and the Center this fall.