After several weeks working for OCOIN, which centers around research on the Oregon Coast and surrounding areas, I’ve learned how important it is as scientists to not only make your research applicable to policy, but also making it very accessible to the general public. Environmental policy doesn’t just take into account scientific research, but overall public opinion as well. This makes it really important for researchers to educate the public with their findings.
I think this internship has given me a better idea of how policy organization works, despite not having been to an agency-level meeting (yet!). Since I work more on the technical side of things, I’m getting first-hand knowledge on how important it is for websites and presentations to be visually appealing, easy to understand, and very organized. (The organization part benefits us too during the editing process!)
With this being my last week working for OCOIN, I can honestly say that I’ve really enjoyed working with such intelligent and passionate members of the scientific community, on the research and policy-making sides. Every person I’ve met that’s involved with conservation has valued the well being of animals, humans, and wants to keep the world healthy. So by definition, they tend to be really kind and passionate people :) Based on this positive experience, I do think I’d like to continue my involvement with scientific policy in the future, at least in some capacity.