By Virginia Palacios
If you’re like me, thinking about your job search doesn’t conjure up images of parties and beaches, but Stephanie Roe taught me that it’s okay to dream big at the Latin America Student Internship Panel on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011. Stephanie kicked off her presentation about her summer work with pictures of the social side of the southern hemisphere. But do not be mistaken, super-MEMs Stephanie Roe and Justin Kirkpatrick worked hard to play hard at the Ministerio Publico de Rio de Janeiro in Brazil this summer. Both had a major role in forming state policy for valuing ecosystem services and assessing environmental impact of degraded sites.
Cooper Rosin, equally impressive, discussed his self-led research in Peru taking wildlife surveys of conservation areas to evaluate biodiversity impacts from development. Cooper’s internship was facilitated by the Center for Tropical Conservation on the Duke campus, under the direction of Varun Swamy and world-renowned John Terborgh.
Finally, Rachel Baker and Jane Rice told about their adventures in Mexico, being immersed in the Spanish language, bush-whacking through forests, and conducting social surveys that had to be translated from English to Spanish to Mayan. Rice and Baker conducted field research for WGELA advisor Dr. Liz Shapiro on the status of Mexico’s Hydrological Payments for Ecosystem Services (PSA-H) program.
In the question and answer session, attendees learned that most skills are learned on the job, an international internship search has to start early, that internships are basically self-constructed, and that numerous funding sources exist at Duke. And, not to be forgotten, was the delicious meal catered by Mami Nora’s Restaurant featuring yucca fries, black beans and rice, and grilled chicken.
Download the program for more information about the WGELA internship panel, including names of faculty researching in Latin America, Latin America-focused centers on campus, and other WGELA members who have traveled or worked in Latin America.