Adam Fishman, Class of 2012

Major: Government and Environmental Studies, International Relations Certificate; Organization: Environmental Council of the States; Location: Washington, D.C.

Adam Fishman, Class of 2012My experience at the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) this summer has been both positive and educational. ECOS is a registered non-profit that works to bring together state environmental agencies with federal entities such as the EPA. Since this is my first internship, well, ever, I've gotten a ton of new environmental policy experience. The office is rather small, with only about 15 people in total, and while everyone has had some sort of task for me, I have been viewed as an equal, rather than 'the intern.' Co-workers frequently head over to the EPA, White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Department of Energy, and even Capitol Hill to testify on various environmental items. Thus, I've gotten to be the fly on the wall at a bunch of pretty important meetings! A typical day at the office entails working on one of my longer term projects -- I'm currently balancing a giant report to be distributed at the ECOS Annual Leadership Meeting in August with a "Green Report" analyzing the status of state environmental agency budgets -- with researching various topics. I'm getting a firsthand look on the behind-the-scenes aspects of environmental policy in Washington, both for better and worse. For example, I was recently in the process of conducting background research for my own independent report on how the potential climate and energy bill that was to be introduced by Senator Reid would impact states that are already implementing their own cap-and-trade programs. Well, that bill is not going to be ready until after the congressional recess, so I can no longer write a report on it!

Working at ECOS has definitely given me a wealth of information regarding not only environmental issues, but also the workings - and sometimes difficulties - of policy items in D.C. It's been a great experience, and I would definitely recommend ECOS to anyone interested in environmental policy work.