NCLCV is proud to introduce our 2017 Duke Stanback summer interns. These undergraduate and graduate students are the next generation of conservation leaders – learn more about them and why they feel called to work on environmental issues! Next up: Vincent Gauthier!
Where is home for you?
I always have a hard time answering this question. My family is originally from Quebec, Canada, but I have lived in California, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Ohio. Each one of these places holds special memories. I spent my middle school years in Pennsylvania and my high school years in Vermont, so those two places feel the most like home.
Where are you on your higher education path?
I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in a 3+2 program with the College of Wooster and Duke University. I just completed my Junior year at Wooster and I will begin my Masters of Environmental Management at the Nicholas School of the Environment in the fall. My specialization will be in environmental economics and policy and I hope to also get a certificate in sustainable systems analysis.
Why did you choose to work in the environmental field?
I grew up attending Waldorf Schools, whose curriculum develops a sense of stewardship of nature in its students. From a very young age I played in the woods and helped out at the farm. Continuing into high school, my classmates and I went on many expedition and wilderness survival trips from the frozen winters of Vermont, to the winding canyon rivers of Utah. After taking many science classes in college, I realized how passionate I truly was in environmental issues. Since then I have done research on environmental and biological topics as well as teaching sustainable agriculture. I am interested in the intersection of agriculture, food systems, climate change and economic development. I am hoping to positively impact changes in agriculture and food production and their impacts on climate change, especially in developing countries. I believe that helping developing countries develop agricultural practices and food system structures that are sustainable can help curb climate impacts as their populations continue to grow.
What are some of your fondest memories of being out in North Carolina’s natural wonders?
I have only been in North Carolina for about a month, so I have not had a chance to visit many of North Carolina’s outdoor treasures. I learned a lot about reptiles during my last semester at Wooster, but being in a northern climate had not allowed me to find many of these creatures in nature. During my first weekend in Durham, I went for a hike at Occoneechee state park and spent most of my day chasing lizards and snakes. I love the thick foliage of the southern climate in North Carolina and the amazing diversity of birds, plants, and insects.
What are your internship responsibilities this summer with the NC League of Conservation Voters (NCLCV)?
This summer I have been working as a policy intern. I have been helping to track bills, gather background information on issues pertaining to the bills of interest, and informing legislators on environmental concerns. I have been writing the Legislative Hotlist every other week and I have written blog posts on issues of interest. I have helped legislators when they asked for information or advice on environmental bills. I will be working on the legislative scorecard in order to keep our legislators accountable and inform voters. I have enjoyed using my scientific background to provide an additional tool for the team and NCLCV in combination with political issues.
How do you see this opportunity as a Stanback intern affecting your future education and work?
The Stanback internship opportunity has given me much needed exposure to the political process. As a biology major trying to transition in environmental economics and policy, I was looking for an experience that would give me knowledge on the political process before starting my classes at Duke University in the fall. I will also use the knowledge I have gained about the political process in my future endeavors in environmental work, whatever they may be.
Want to see how Vincent’s experience as a policy intern has been this summer? Email him at email@example.com.