Despite it being a very unconventional year, lab members are still seizing opportunities to advance their research. One Ph.D. student, Olivia Davis, spent this past summer and fall as an Endangered Species Policy Intern with the Center for Conservation Innovation (CCI) at Defenders of Wildlife. For her position, Olivia is a member of the policy team, participating in weekly meetings about current projects the group is working on. She also has the opportunity to attend CCI team meetings, All Staff meetings with the whole organization, and started to develop a chapter of her dissertation. Olivia is studying endangered and threatened species recovery planning, and this internship gave her the opportunity to collaborate with professionals outside of academia on this topic. While she was supposed to complete this internship in Washington, D.C., it didn’t damper what she gained from the experience.
“I’m so fortunate to have still had the opportunity to intern at Defenders, even with COVID changing so much about how all jobs have been operating,” she said. “Even though we weren’t in person, my team has been so friendly, welcoming, and inclusive. It was great to learn more about how a conservation NGO works, and what a career in this role could look like.”
As part of her internship, Olivia also wrote a blog post
about success stories in the Endangered Species Act, drawing on her field experiences in Alaska when she was an undergraduate student at The College of New Jersey studying stickleback fish.
“I love writing, and science communication is definitely something I want to prioritize in my career. I’m so glad I had the chance to work with Defenders on this piece to help teach science and non-science audiences about the importance of saving endangered species.” You can read her blog post here: INSERT BLOG
Olivia has loved her time at Defenders so far, and hopes to keep collaborating with them as she moves forward in her career.
“I think it’s important for all scientists, especially in conservation, to work with other organizations and agencies to help achieve our goals. When it comes to saving endangered species, we need all the help we can get.”