My view of science policy hasn’t changed too dramatically over the past several weeks. I’ve always revered it. I have definitely grown a better understanding of how policy organizations work though, and also an even deeper respect and awe for it. There’s a lot more that goes into the process than I realized. It’s been really neat to sit in on the ODFW Marine Reserve program team meetings and see how the team comes together. I do feel like I understand more how science policy operates in the state of Oregon, at least for the Marine Reserves Program. They have partnerships with many organizations that are within the state and also out of state.
I wouldn’t necessarily see any tradeoffs in the organization that I’ve been interning at between serving the public good and being able to respond nimbly. I think that the Marine Reserves program has been doing a great job in trying to educate the public about the Marine Reserves but still being on the side of science. For example, my project that I’m working for is creating a summarized report of the visitor intercept survey. It’s important that I’m not biased and put my own opinions in the paper about why I think the Marine Reserves should be kept. I’m simply stating the facts of the data, then the readers of the report can make their assessment about it.
I am inspired to continue in this line of work in the future. I think it’s incredibly important to have these surveys implemented to figure out what the public knows and does not know. Understanding what the public thinks is crucial for education and implementation of new policies. Although I’m very interested in marine policies, I’m also interested in recycling/waste policies. But at the core of both of those topics are issues caused by humans.
Thanks for reading – I hope everyone is staying safe!