Tuesday, October 24, 2017

New Intern - Kate Oetheimer

Once upon a time, a girl from Massachusetts graduated from college (Skidmore College in upstate New York with a double major in International Affairs and German, and a minor in Environmental Studies, to be specific) and moved to the landlocked state of Colorado to work as a naturalist.  She learned all about the local ecology and spent the summer giving guided nature walks, trying to convince kids the rubber scat in the nature center was real, camping, and hiking whenever possible.  It was all she could ask for in a summer job.
Not much sea here.  Plenty of sky though.

But what to do, now that her summer job was over?  She had toyed briefly with the idea of staying in Colorado and becoming a ski bum, but missed her cats (and her family) too much to spend the winter away from home.   And although she loved hiking and exploring in the enormous mountains she was now surrounded by, something wasn’t quite right.  The air didn’t smell like salt, the people there talked about their hatred for magpies, not seagulls, and the nearest ocean was a fourteen-hour drive (frigid alpine lakes, while beautiful, just didn’t compare).

Besides, she wanted to do something a bit more purposeful than becoming a ski bum.  After all, the two landscapes she had come to love, the ocean and the mountains, were particularly vulnerable to environmental threats, and just being a ski bum wouldn’t help protect these ecosystems.  So, when the summer ended, she packed up her possessions and headed back east to be reunited with her cats and her beloved Atlantic Ocean (and her family). 

Although she had studied international affairs in school, she had become fed up with her fellow political science students who didn’t want to go hiking with her and often overlooked environmental problems when thinking about global politics.  It was with these experiences in mind that she set her sights on the nonprofit sector, hoping to find both colleagues equally as invested in environmental problems and policies (who would maybe explore the outdoors with her) and an experience that would allow her to help make a substantial difference while helping her figure out future education and career decisions. 
This is better. 

When she found the position with Save the Harbor, she knew it was a perfect fit.  A chance to work on environmental policy issues with like-minded environmentalists and the opportunity to explore nonprofit operation were exactly the kind of situations she had envisioned to help her find the clarity she wanted, and to do that while working to protect and improve a body of water she grew up enjoying made the opportunity even better.  And so she started working for Save the Harbor as an environmental policy intern and, (for the short-term, at least), lived happily ever after.

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