Center for the Blue Economy Professional education and research to promote ocean and coastal sustainability

Alyssum Pohl: Dream Internship at the World Wildlife Fund

<p><span>Alyssum poses in front of the World Wildlife Fund logo at their Washington D.C. office.</span></p>

Alyssum poses in front of the World Wildlife Fund logo at their Washington D.C. office.

"I had my dream internship handed to me on a silver platter."

As the oceans continue to be overfished, fish-farming--or aquaculture--is increasing to fill the void. It is imperative that this industry make sustainable decisions as it grows. During my first year at the Monterey Institute, I focused on sustainable aquaculture projects in almost every class. Professor Scorse was aware of my interests in the subject, and when he came across an internship opportunity with the Aquaculture Program at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Washington, D.C., he offered me the position.

Ever since I was a child I have applauded the WWF's global conservation efforts. That I got to work with the Aquaculture team within WWF was really a dream come true for me. My roommate in D.C., another WWF intern, said there were nearly 240 applicants for her internship position. I couldn't believe it! Through the CBE Fellowship, I basically had my dream internship handed to me on a silver platter.

alyssum_pohl

During my summer in Washington D.C., I helped improve the sustainability of global aquaculture by participating in the creation and streamlining of sustainable international certification standards. In particular, I worked on three main projects:

I provided Aquaculture Dialogue support by doing research, and summarizing public commentary on the salmon and freshwater trout aquaculture dialogues.

I compared all 8 sets of sustainable certification standards 8 sets of sustainable certification standards that have been created to figure out how they could be better aligned. I formulated this document myself, but it ended up being WWF's position statement, which was sent to the certification and labeling body, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

I conducted commodity risk analysis for the market transformation team on salmon farming in Chile.

Overall, my summer fellowship provided a window into the world of aquaculture policy, which was extremely motivating and inspiring. Several people who work at WWF are already helping me make more connections and find a position when I graduate in May.