Final Day at OREC

Today is my final day at OREC before I head back down to Australia. Whilst it will be sad to leave, today really emphasises the time I’ve had here at OREC, the friendships I made in DC and the experiences of working in the USA’s capital.

Carolyn is about to take me for lunch at Founding Farmers, and I was told to eat here by a fellow intern long before I arrived in DC, so today represents another milestone!!

I feel my knowledge of Ocean Energy has grown to a standard that when I return to Australia I will be able to exude experience in my field. I will take back down to Australia a better sense of how the political system in America works, having not a fleeting clue in August.

OREC does a really great thing here in DC, it helps promote Marine Hydrokinetic energy and educate the public on it’s benefits both economically and environmentally. And because of OREC’s commitment to it’s beliefs, working here has also come with a sense of pride. Whether it was assisting Sean and Carolyn write the book chapter on Marine Spatial Planning, putting together news articles and video footage or acting on behalf of OREC at environmental conventions, I will leave knowing I had a unique experience that will put me on the path to a career in emerging ocean renewable energy.

So what’s next? I go to Australia, I meet up with my family after 16 months abroad, and I will complete my Masters. I hope to return to the USA sooner than later, having kept my options open by applying for work at Oceana here in DC, as well as a Masters program on Oceanography at the Scripps Institute in San Diego. All these ideas are floating around my head, like working in conservation or energy in Florida, as well as the attraction of working for my own Government in Climate Change and Renewable Energy. Where I end up, I shall let you know, but OREC has expanded my horizons and has not left me short of a next step(s).

Meeting the folks at SMI has been a real treat, and taking a class on Environmental Policy at the WII institute has given me a grand grip on how legislation begins and the hurdles one must go through in order to enact policy. I couldn’t think of a better investment in world than the investment of renewable energy, the potential influence this could have on a body of people, especially the size of the USA, in terms of jobs and innovation. It will set new standards on how we look and treat the environment and all things living. I hope to return one day to DC, and until then, it’s been a great time and a great ride!

Adios! And fairdinkum!

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