Environmental Change through Communication
The environmental studies and anthropology major is working this summer as an intern at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Local Government Assistance. “By participating in this internship I get to see firsthand how the environmental issues are prevented and managed,” she said. “It’s wonderful that true effort and work is being done to fix the problems that I learn about in class.”
The DEP oversees a range of environmental issues including land and water quality, protection, conservation, and management/regulation. It’s part of Bresnan’s job to distribute press releases on all of these varied topics — from drinking water to Zika virus — to the 21 counties and 565 municipalities under her office’s jurisdiction.
Luckily, her internship involves a good mix of time in the office and time out in the field. “Each day of work so far at my internship has been interesting and different,” she said.
Bresnan took the internship to learn about the government’s role in protecting the environment. From it, she is getting first-hand training for leadership in the field she is passionate about. “I get to learn from the office’s director about how the Department takes responsibility and leadership in regulating the environment and all that it encompasses.”
“The coolest and most useful thing I’ve learned so far is how effective great communication and service can be. Everyday I get to see and help create community outreach strategies and assist in making our environment better, which is not an easy task. This is all done through the power of communication.”
The training in policy, science and terminology she learned from her classes at Washington College act as strong base when, at times, she is confronted with the breadth of what her office oversees. “Now that I am interning, I can say that I really appreciate all the hard work that goes into trying to keep the environment—and therefore ourselves—the best and safest it can be,” she said.