Published September 09, 2020 by Rosemary Armstrong

A summer working remotely as The Nature Conservancy Africa Region Intern

"Thanks to a funded internship grant from Career Exploration and Development (CXD), I was able to reconnect with The Nature Conservancy and actively engage with experts spearheading energy and water conservation projects in Gabon and Tanzania."

Screenshot of a Zoom remote meeting
Zoom call with colleagues

How did you spend your summer?

"I received a funded internship grant from Bowdoin's Career Exploration and Development to work remotely with The Nature Conservancy.  I evaluated the metrics and geoprocessing abilities of a data-driven planning tool that can determine environmentally-sound locations for Gabon’s future hydropower projects."

What projects did you work on?

"I synthesized information on Gabon’s renewable energy strategy for the Africa and Global offices to finalize a Hydropower by Design scheme.

For the water fund in Tanzania, I assessed the impacts of terracing, grass strips, agroforestry, riparian conservation, integrated watershed management plans and livelihood support on biodiversity in the Eastern Usambara Mountains."

 Gabon and Tanzania project maps

Project maps

"I also edited feasibility studies and translated contracts, workplans, budgets and interviews from Swahili to English to reveal the environmental goals of local governments, community-based organizations and businesses in the Tanga region."

What was it like to work during the COVID-19 pandemic?

"As much as I desired to be on the ground conducting site visits, working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic was a fulfilling experience for me. I collaborated with a global team of experts who were not only based in Gabon and Tanzania, but also in South Africa, Kenya, and the United States. Overall, I am so grateful to CXD for giving me this opportunity to grow as an environmental scientist."

How did your internship this summer connect your fellowship last summer?

"Last summer I received the Logan Environmental Studies fellowship. That opportunity provided a steppingstone to my work this summer, and helped me form a robust relationship with The Nature Conservancy."