William & Mary

Intern Profile-Dana Gilbert

Dana Gilbert

Over the summer I interned with The Nature Conservancy's Virginia Chapter in their Richmond office.  Working primarily with the Director of Government Relations, I wrote several different fact sheets and research memos.  In particular, I created two fact sheets which outline the land preservation tax credit program as well as how conservation easements impact local government budgets.  Land trusts throughout Virginia will use these fact sheets to help explain why the tax credit is beneficial from a policy perspective to landowners, other private citizens, and local governments.  I also completed a research memo surveying U.S. water quality trading programs and how various factors impact the creation of a healthy market for trading pollution credits. 

Although I spent the majority of my time in an office setting doing research, I attended several stakeholder and working group meetings throughout the summer.  During a stakeholder advisory meeting for Clean Water Act Section 404 permits at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality's office, I experienced firsthand the complexities and variety of stakeholders' concerns for protecting environmental quality, natural resources, and economic interests.  The meetings offered a great way to meet several key figures in state and regional environmental policy and also to see private-public collaboration in action.  Toward the end of my internship I even had the opportunity to travel to TNC's Virginia Coast Reserve office on the Eastern Shore and shadow a conservation biologist completing field work on the barrier islands.  Overall, it was an excellent experience, and I was able to learn more about policy issues spanning everything from wind energy to land conservation to uranium mining.