Crissy McCarthy – Internship with Earth Innovation Institute, San Francisco

This summer, I was fortunate enough to receive $600 from the NTC Grant Committee to help me fund transportation to and from my summer internship. I interned with a small nonprofit in San Francisco, California called Earth Innovation Institute (EII). EII works on pragmatic solutions to issues such as deforestation, food security, and development in conflict with indigenous peoples and local communities for a more environmentally secure planet. EII supports multi-level governance and collaboration between all levels of society: local, provincial, regional, national, and international.

In my three months as a Research and Program Support Intern for EII, I was responsible for assisting my supervisor in researching and writing for an article on Jurisdictional REDD+ and its impact on Indigenous Peoples and Traditional Communities across the tropics. I also briefly researched West Papua’s progress towards jurisdictional sustainability (JS) for Earth Innovation Institute’s project on JS that will help advise future planning and implementation of low emission rural development strategies across the tropics. Another project I worked on involved collaborating with another intern to condense his senior honors thesis on the Yurok Tribe and indigenous autonomy into a version that will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. This summer, I was exposed to a whole new city, and a whole new network of potential future opportunities. My supervisors were wonderful in supporting me throughout the summer, giving me career advice and connections. I learned a lot about how non-profits work, and got to deepen my own interests in tropical environmental sustainability and development through the research projects I worked on. Getting to work on a variety of things gave me different exposure to the inner workings of the non-profit world.

I also learned a lot about myself and my future career goals through this experience. I learned what I do and do not enjoy about non-profit work, and what I do and don’t enjoy about an office setting. My summer with EII was very informative for me both academically and personally, and I am very thankful for the funding that helped me cover my airfare to and from California, as it would have been difficult for me to pay otherwise.

Written by Crissy McCarthy, recipient of a Dean’s Grant sponsored by CELT, 2018.