The Clean Water Blog

Introducing our summer interns!

Clean Water Action's Baltimore office is fortunate to have three interns working with us this summer! All rising seniors studying environmental science or policy at Baltimore-area colleges, Morgan, Megan, and Sofia are already conducting research and outreach on our campaigns on sewage system infrastructure, septic system improvements, zero waste initiatives, climate resiliency, and more. I'll let them introduce themselves!

 

Morgan Hoffman, Environmental Science, Towson University

Hi everyone! I’m Morgan and I’ll be interning with Clean Water Action this summer. I am a rising senior at Towson University, majoring in Environmental Science with a track in Biology. I am really looking forward to working with CWA for the next few months and seeing many of their big dreams become a reality in Baltimore County.

Living in Deale, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay for many years, water quality and estuarine ecosystems have always been an issue that are near and dear to my heart, even before learning about the countless other realms in the fight for environmental justice. Declaring my major sophomore year of college opened my eyes tremendously to the vast field of environmental studies (scientific and political), as well as the many obstacles that will attempt to slow progress or even move backwards.

I have also been extremely passionate about social justice, compassion toward underserved communities, and perpetual equality for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t until a few years after my journey as an environmentalist began that I realized that these issues often go hand in hand. I would consider myself a dreamer more than a realist, and I often find myself thinking “well, in a perfect world….” because I see a world where minority groups are cherished and environmental issues are non partisan as simple to obtain. I can’t imagine wanting anything different. I long for a society that values people and our majestic planet more than they value profit and appearances.

I am so excited to witness first hand the many people that are working tirelessly to influence policy in Baltimore and not only improve the livelihood of the environment, but the livelihood of the hardworking and valuable communities that live there. This summer, I will be focusing on projects regarding zero waste, trash incineration, a plastic bag ban, and sewage backup compensation reform. The power of passion and people are insurmountable and, while the fight for environmental justice has a long way to go, we will not be silenced!

 

Megan Allison, Environmental Science and Geography, UMBC

Hello! I am a senior at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County studying environmental science. I have always been interested in water chemistry, pollution/sanitation, and cleaning the Earth’s polluted waterways. This past semester, I took an urban ecology class which introduced me and piqued my interest in environmental policy and is why I was drawn to this internship opportunity.

I chose to intern at Clean Water Action because of the people who work here and the atmosphere this organization has that I haven’t found anywhere else. It is so amazing and inspiring to work with people who are so passionate about these environmental issues and are looking to create change for everyone. It is evident that the people who work here care so much about the community from how they reach out, engage, and learn about the issues that affect people and use this to enact change.

This summer, I will be focusing on data analysis and using Geographic Information Systems computer software to map sewage backups in Baltimore. These maps can readily share information with the public and elected officials. I will also be conducting research on environmental science issues and policy while working on Clean Water Action campaigns this summer.

Although I am not exactly sure what I want to do after college, I hope to learn more about the environmental policy issues in Baltimore City and how organizations like Clean Water Action make differences by researching policy, educating the public, and enacting change. I hope to gain knowledge and experiences that will help me in my future career. Even though I have only been interning for a few weeks, I have already learned so much about many different topics including sewage, the plastic bag ban, septic systems, and zero waste and how each of these affect people in Maryland.

I am very happy and excited to be interning at Clean Water Action and working on the campaigns we have going on this summer!

 

Sofia Verheyen, Environmental Science and Studies, Johns Hopkins University

I’ve been passionate about the environment for as long as I can remember. In the beginning, it stemmed from the copious hours spent outside as a kid and canoeing through the Canadian wilderness for weeks on end as a teenager. Through those experiences I gained a respect for the natural world around me and began to care very strongly about its preservation. This interest continued throughout my high school years through my involvement in my school’s environmental club – the green avengers – and the outdoors club that taught basic survival skills and orienteering.

During my junior spring I attended the Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki, a program intended for students with an interest in the environment, which had a strong focus in ecology and sustainability. Through this experience I worked on a farm for the first time, learned to meticulously separate compostable food waste from non-compostable, and participated in an energy-saving competition between my peers to see who could use the least energy over the course of a week. The campus also had many renewable energy sources ranging from solar panels and hydrogen generators to passive solar and biodiesel, and many things in between. It was because of my semester spent on the Maine Coast that I realized that sustainability and the environment was a subject area I could see myself studying and working in for the rest of my life.

I’m a rising senior at Johns Hopkins majoring in Global Environmental Change and Sustainability (now called environmental science and studies) with a minor in German. I chose my major because it allowed me to learn more about all the environmental areas I was interested in, and also allowed me to create my own focus area within the subject. I chose to focus on land use and water issues related to climate change and policy, which led me to interning at Clean Water Action this summer.

This past semester I wrote a paper on the zero-waste movement for one of my classes, which happened to be one of the areas in which Clean Water Action is focusing for the upcoming legislative session. This summer I am focusing on backing research and outreach to people working on zero-waste issues throughout Maryland in order to create and propose ideas for legislature in the upcoming legislative session. Through my work I hope to give back to the city and state that I’ve come to love over the past three years, and to create a lasting impact in the way we, as a society, talk about zero-waste issues and legislature.