What I’ve learned about Science Policy

During my time with HRAP I have come to realize that there is so much more to science policy than I originally thought. Before this summer I had thought that I wanted to pursue Environmental Law because that was the best way to make a widespread impact on environmental issues that I cared about. However, after getting to spend time involved in the science outreach and education that HRAP does I am less sure about going into law or policy. I have really come to enjoy the hands-on, local conservation efforts that I am a part of. 

Additionally, I have gotten to see up close how local organizations work and how many people need to be involved to make any sort of meaningful change. I also think that because it is a smaller organization we get to be more in tune with the community and its needs which I think is also very important. For example, last week I worked on a field trip for a group of kids and their parents and getting to talk to them individually about stewardship and how to get involved was very eye opening and I got to feel like I was connecting and making an impact on those people. I also have gotten the opportunity to talk to some people who do work in state and federal level policy positions and something that is brought up frequently is how they have to deal with bureaucracy and often feeling like they are stuck or being slowed down by the bureaucratic systems that are in place. 

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Part of the bird station for field trips

I do think that working in science policy would be a very rewarding experience and enable me to be part of the large level changes that I want to see and be a part of, but working at a local level has also shown me how fulfilling working at a smaller scale can be.

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