Wednesday, May 5, 2010

International Marine Policy in Washington, DC

I have been working at the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Marine Conservation for just over three months now and I feel that I’m just starting to find my way. I am beginning to be able to decipher office email with all of the acronyms. Today I spent most of my time at work on the upcoming United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement. I got the opportunity to go to the UN Headquarters in NYC in March for a preparatory meeting and will go again at the end of May for the week-long Review Conference.

It has been a remarkable experience working with the most amazing professionals at the Department of State on important issues such as the state of global fish stocks. In addition to the opportunities in my office I have really enjoyed taking advantage of meetings outside of my office. I’ve been to both Senate and Congressional hearings on NOAA law enforcement, catch shares, and whale conservation.

It has been really amazing to realize how big the Knauss network is as well. I’ve run into former fellows in Alaska, Seattle, and at almost every meeting I’ve been to in the city. No matter where I go I meet great people who have former fellowship experiences to share and advice to give. The support and friendship of current fellows has been great too. There are always current fellows sharing upcoming meetings, happy hours, house warming parties, hiking trips, work experiences, concerts, and expertise on any marine issue you can imagine. Now I’m looking forward to a trip to Sitka, Alaska next month and maybe some international travel after that.