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Meet PEI and Grand Challenges Past Interns: 2011

Benjamin Barron, 2013, Comparative Literature


Project: Venturing into the World of Green Revolution

Organization/Location: Earthjustice, California

Adviser: Georgia McIntosh, Earthjustice

My internship with the environmental law firm Earthjustice was an educational and ­enlightening venture into the world of green legislation. I worked with their ­communications office which gave me the opportunity to oversee all facets of the non-profit law firm’s widespread work. Being able to contribute substantially, despite working at an ­intern ­level, was rewarding and empowering. In my case, that consisted of researching and writing numerous blogs, and a couple of magazine articles, as well as working on ­multimedia projects, press tracking reports, staff biographies, and other smaller projects. I learned about the complexity of environmental law, and the importance of legislation in the struggle to achieve sustainability. Perhaps the most important thing I learned was that environmental law is not the path I want to take in my environmental career. ­However, working alongside the passionate, capable, and experienced lawyers, employees, and executives of the largest environmental law firm in the world certainly cemented my commitment to the pursuit of sustainability. (See presentation.)


Lauren Bleakney, 2013, Woodrow Wilson School


Project: Punctuated Equilibrium in the Energy Regime Complex

Organization/Location: Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Adviser: Robert Keohane, Professor of Public and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School

I interned with Professor Robert Keohane of the Wilson School on a policy paper entitled, “The Punctuated Equilibrium in the Energy Regime Complex.” I was given a ­fascinating opportunity to contribute additional research to the paper on Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries ­(OPEC) history, specifically on periods of ­dissatisfaction and innovation. I also worked with Professor Keohane and his two ­co-authors to ­restructure the underlying t­heoretical outline of how institutions innovate in the face of varying levels and types of ­dissatisfaction as well as contributing to the robustness of definitions used in the ­paper ­concerning interdependence of institutions involved in the energy regime complex. From this internship, I learned the intricacies of the oil industry as well as the process of developing a paper for journal publication. (See presentation.)


Andrea Chu, 2014, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Project: Urban Farming and Food Access Community Program

Organization/Location: The Food Project, Massachusetts

Adviser: Bob Burns and Cammy Watts, The Food Project

My internship with The Food Project gave me an opportunity to have an active hand in working towards a more sustainable food system, from the seeding of vegetables to the distribution of the food. The Food Project is a non-profit organization that works to develop a productive and responsible community and to provide everyone with equal access to fresh, local, and affordable food, focusing on needs in urban areas. ­During the summer, I was responsible for coordinating and operating various farmer’s ­markets, mobile markets, and even initiated a new location for a market at a local senior ­recreational center. Since much of The Food Project’s food production comes from the hard work of the community, I worked with many youth, mentoring them and teaching workshops on food access and food justice. I learned how to adapt farming to urban environments, fully utilizing every square foot available, and treating contaminated soil. This internship exposed me to many sufficient solutions to the program of food shortage, but it also showed me the urgency of the need to shift our food system from processed and additives to local and sustainable. (See presentation.)


Xiang Ding, 2013, Economics


Project: Community-Based Management of Forest Resources in the Asia-Pacific Region

Organization/Location: RECOFTC - Center for People and Forests, Thailand

Adviser: Anastasia Vrachnos, Princeton in Asia

Social forestry is a young and increasingly complex concept. RECOFTC, a ­regional ­leader in Asia, engages with a wide spectrum of social forestry work—expanding ­community ­forestry, studying climate change, mitigating forest conflict, and securing ­local ­livelihoods. My internship placement with the Communications, Marketing, and ­Fundraising ­Department in RECOFTC’s Bangkok headquarters gave me immediate ­access to, and a stake in, the pioneering work driven by experts in each of these areas. Day to day, I took part in the fact checking, editing, and designing phase of all in-house publications and web materials. I was exposed to a wealth of technical knowledge: climate change indicators from forest growth, livestock management practices in rural Cambodia, and insights into the United Nation’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest ­Degradation Plus (UNREDD+) Program. This branch of work took me to Sam Phak Nam, a traditional ­village in north Thailand, where I documented a series of RECOFTC workshops on ­Community Carbon Accounting (a sampling process to estimate carbon storage ­capacity in ­forests). Home-stay in the field allowed me to interview various stakeholders in the ­social forestry scene—experts, officials, village leaders, forest users, and the youth—a most ­interesting, valuable, and organic NGO-like-experience. I later used the notes, pictures, and transcripts from this field trip as a part of a gallery display in the 2nd Regional Forum for People and Forests. (See presentation.)


Ana Duarte-Silva Barry, 2012, Politics


Project: Innovating Solutions to Marine Conservation Problems

Organization/Location: Environmental Defense Fund, California

Adviser: Rod Fujita, Environmental Defense Fund

This summer, I was an intern at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in San ­Francisco. I worked as a research intern in the Ocean Innovations Department. This ­department, with the rest of the Oceans departments, works to implement sustainable ­fishery ­practices around the world. Specifically, I researched the implementation of ­sustainable fishery practices in Cuba and the Pacific. My primary responsbility for each ­regional project was to research background material, statistics, and the status of fisheries for each region, and then provide my own insight as to how fisheries could be ­improved by EDF. The research I conducted through this internship prompted my senior ­thesis topic, and I am eager to get going and build upon what I started this summer. I always felt that my work was highly valued at EDF. I was welcomed as an important member of the team from the start which made the experience very rewarding. (See presentation.)


Eleanor Elbert, 2012, Art History


Project: Family Planning & Resource Use

Organization/Location: Sierra Club, Washington, D.C.

Adviser: Sandeep Bathala, Sierra Club

I interned for the Sierra Club's Global Population and Environment Program which ­advocates for universal access to voluntary family planning services in ­conjunction with responsible resource use. This experience deepened my insight into some of the most complex environmental issues (family size and resource use disparity ­between ­developed and developing nations) at the community level. It also taught me a ­rights-based ­framework from which to understand these issues. I was involved with ­grassroots ­organizing of Sierra Club members and young activists around the country, and raised awareness of our work via social media and blogging. I helped prepare content for presentations and materials, and coordinated with volunteers to produce newsworthy information for activists to disseminate.


Theodore Eyster, 2013, Civil and Environmental Engineering


Project: Monitoring Aquatic Warblers in Poland’s Fen Mires

Organization/Location: OTOP (Polish Society for the Protection of the Birds), Poland

Adviser: Lars Lachmann, AW LIFE Project Manager

I spent nine weeks as an intern in northeast Poland with the Polish Society for the ­Protection of Birds in Biebrza National Park. I was part of a team gathering data on the Aquatic ­warbler (acrocephalus paludicola), Europe’s rarest perching bird ­(passerine). I spent my time wading through study plots in the marshes and fen mires of the region ­counting the singing males and looking for nests. We gathered information about ­breeding ­population densities of the bird on sections of marsh with different ­management ­treatments. The treatments were mostly concerned with the frequency of mowing to prevent ­succession, the process that turns the marshes to forests. After finding nests by watching individual birds for long periods of time, we used GPS technology to mark nest locations. At the conclusion of the project, we compiled an excel file with the clutch sizes, treatment, and success rates, in addition to a MapSource map showing the location of each nest. The collected data will ultimately be used to determine the best way to manage the habitat for the success of the aquatic warbler. (See presentation.)


Daniel Fletcher, 2012, Civil and Environmental Engineering


Project: Flood Reduction Modeling in Harry’s Brook

Organization/Location: Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, New Jersey

Adviser: Amy Soli, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

This summer, I interned with the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association. The goal of this internship was two-fold. First, to create a model of the Harry’s Brook ­Watershed that accurately modeled observed stream behavior and, once that was ­accomplished, to identify possible solutions to alleviate flooding in the Princeton area that ­occurs ­during heavy rainfalls. While I was only able to accomplish the first component of the ­internship during the three-month time frame, it was richly rewarding. I gained a ­working knowledge of the Watershed Modeling System (WMS) and the Gridded ­Surface ­Subsurface Hydrologic Analysis (GSSHA) softwares and I learned more than I ever thought possible about urban hydrology. This opportunity has also influenced my ­academic path, as my thesis is now on coastal flooding issues and has changed my job search, which was previously only focused on structural engineering, to include more of an environmental emphasis.


Gitanjali Gnanadesikan, 2014, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Project: A Closer Look at Mammal Migration

Organization/Location: Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Advisers: David Medvigy, Assistant Professor of Geosciences; Simon Levin, George M. Moffett Professor of Biology, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Allison Shaw, Graduate Student, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

My internship with the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department focused on ­mammal migrations. I conducted extensive literature-based research to ­compile a database documenting various aspects of migratory behaviours (or lack ­thereof) for over a thousand mammalian species; I then took this data and began to look at the patterns which emerged. This broad look at migration across species has ­illuminated several patterns and concepts and will inform the development of ­computer ­models and possibly further scientific observations and conservation ­efforts. This ­internship gave me the opportunity to familiarize myself with the field of ­ecology, learn valuable technical skills, and gather foundational knowledge and ­experience. It also confirmed my choice of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology as my major. (See presentation.)


Laura Hellman, 2014, Molecular Biology


Project: "I am Not a Guinea Pig" -- Toxic Chemical Policy Reform

Organization/Location: Environmental Defense Fund, Washington D.C.

Adviser: Lauren Guite, Environmental Defense Fund

My internship this summer at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in Washington, D.C. helped me gain experience and glean knowledge about environmental policy reform. I learned about the fundamental molecular basis for chemical health effects, ­practiced writing skills, and, hopefully, aided an important policy reform campaign. My main ­project for the summer was to work on EDF's "Not a Guinea Pig campaign," an effort to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by passing a new bill in the U.S. ­Congress. ­Currently, TSCA inadequately regulates how chemicals can be used in ­consumer products. I researched the health effects of many of the most harmful ­chemicals that have slipped through TSCA's policies. I also wrote blog posts for the EDF website about a number of the resultant health conditions. The aim of my project was to garner public support and awareness of the problem. One of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of my internship was writing in a style to which I was completely unaccustomed. My previous education certainly prepared me to write academically, but I had little experiencing writing about scientific subjects for a layperson audience. My work over the summer improved my research skills and expanded my writing abilities. I also was exposured to marketing and communication techniques and the operational aspects of a very ­successful environmental NGO. (See presentation.)


Lucas Ho, 2014, Computer Science


Project: Developing New Products from Waste Streams at TerraCycle

Organization/Location: TerraCycle, New Jersey

Adviser: Ernel Simpson, TerraCycle

The goal of my internship at TerraCycle was to develop new uses for waste and thus divert it from landfills. I discovered the material composition of various types of trash, researched those materials’ properties, and hatched ideas for ­alternative uses for the waste based upon those properties. Some of the ideas I ­contributed were to use the byproducts of silk manufacturing to nourish skin and to extract ­fiberglass from discarded tennis rackets to be used in medical casts. Additionally, I ­contacted companies like Adidas to see if they wanted to incorporate waste that ­TerraCycle has collected into their products. Also, TerraCycle wanted an ­external ­party to use the ~9400 floppy disks in its warehouse. I accomplished this goal by ­finding a painter who uses floppy disks as canvas and who gladly accepted the disks. I learned how to read and write patents, since much of my research involved ­traversing through patent databases. My knowledge of materials’ properties and ­applications grew by leaps and bounds. Also, my commitment to pursuing a career in sustainability was cemented, and I learned how people function and execute ideas in the corporate world. (See presentation.)


Jacob Jackson, 2014, Undeclared


Project: Communicating TerraCycle’s Message

Organization/Location: TerraCycle, New Jersey

Adviser: Richard Perl, TerraCycle

During my internship at TerraCycle in Trenton, New Jersey, I was given the ­opportunity to work on several projects that dealt with the way TerraCycle communicated their core messages. As an introduction to the way that TerraCycle spread the message of ­environmental stewardship, I edited lesson plans that TerraCycle developed with the Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education by ensuring that each lesson plan was flushed out and was suitable for the intended ages. I also researched the ­environmental harms of mining for precious metals and gems in order to create the web pages and physical material for a recycling program for old jewelry. Finally, I helped lead an ­initiative to boost TerraCycle’s social media presence. Two other interns and I organized the rest of the interns to comment on blogs and to better utilize Twitter by finding interesting ­articles, blog posts, and other materials that members of the green community would find informative and enjoyable. Through these projects, I attained a greater understanding of how to utilize these various forms of communication, and I look forward to continuing to engage others about sustainability. (See presentation.)


Diana Lam, 2012, Architecture


Project: Educational Efforts Around the State of Land Use Practices in Northern India

Organization/Location: International Society for Ecology and Culture, India

Adviser: Victoria Clarke, International Society for Ecology and Culture

During my time in India, I worked with two partner organizations--the ­International ­Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) and the Ladakh Ecological Development Group (LEDeG). Both of these organizations seek to preserve traditional culture in Ladakh, a region of northern India that is environmentally fragile and quickly deteriorating due to the influx of large-scale industry. During the first phase of my internship, I lived and worked on a farm in a small village about 50km from Leh, the regional capital. There, my aim was to gain ­intimate knowledge about the culture and research methods for its preservation. Upon my return to Leh, I used this data to coordinate and ­implement a tourist ­education ­program. The program involved screening documentaries, leading workshops with ­tourists, and producing written media about the importance of both environmental and ­cultural conservation in the area. I was also able to work on a few side projects--a housing rebuild for victims of a flood that occurred the previous year and a handicrafts scheme to generate income for village women. (See presentation.)


Wendy Lang, 2013, Chemical and Biological Engineering


Project: Urban Farming and Community Food Access Programs

Organization/Location: Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Adviser: Stuart Orefice, Princeton University Dining Services

As the Sustainability Intern for Princeton University Dining Services, one of my main ­projects included updating and analyzing Dining Services’ Food Metric, a review and ­categorization of the University’s sustainable food purchases during the 2010-2011 ­academic year. This data was used to track and evaluate progress made in purchasing and serving local, organic, fair trade, humane, and socially just food on campus as well as update Dining Services’ sustainability webpage. In addition to assessing sustainable purchases, I was responsible for further developing and implementing Dining Services’ Carbon Footprint Project. Using Food Metric and menu databases along with other resources, I was able to compile carbon emissions data for individual menu items available at different campus serveries. As part of the initiative to promote dining sustainability and help guide campus diners to make more informed choices, this carbon emissions project has taken form as a new addition to Dining Services’ smart phone app and webpage. (See presentation.)


Michelle Lau, 2012, Civil and Environmental Engineering


Project: Filling the Generation Gap Sustainably Both From an Economic and Environmental Perspective

Organization/Location: Environmental Defense Fund, New York

Adviser: Gernot Wagner, Environmental Defense Fund

I spent this summer interning at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in New York City where I worked with the Office of Economic Policy and Analysis on a ­“Generation Gap” Study. This study characterized the current electricity generation capacity of the ­United States and examined the composition of the power system over the next few decades. We also researched different policies to support the evolution of an ­economically and environmentally viable electricity system. My main responsibilities were to prepare fact sheets for different generation types, as well as write reports summarizing ­government, consulting, and policy reports for other members of the team. Outside of my main ­research, EDF also provided the interns at the office with many opportunities to learn about environmental issues and campaigns with which EDF was directly involved. This internship allowed me to experience work in a non-profit setting, and I was also able to strengthen my research skills, as well as my knowledge of various energy and ­environmental issues. (See presentation.)


Ruth Nachmany, 2012, Anthropology


Project: Reporting the Science, Impacts, and Solutions to Climate Change Across the United States

Organization/Location: Climate Central, New Jersey

Adviser: Michael Lemonick, Visiting Lecturer, Astrophysical Sciences

Climate Central‘s challenge is to communicate about climate change in a way that will help people identify with what it means for them, their families, and their neighbors. Changing minds and behaviors is what will really keep atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations at levels climate scientists have suggested. This internship challenged me to step outside myself to understand what others would identify with and to determine how best to reach them. I was also challenged to use new forms of media and communication, to work in teams and individually, and to meet journalistic deadlines and standards with which I was previously unfamiliar. The internship provided me with a foundation to go into journalism, should I chose that path, or to be an effective climate communicator in whatever field I choose. (See presentation.)


Peter Smith, 2014, Undeclared


Project: Planting Native Plants at the Bulk Seed Project at the St. Michael’s Preserve in Hopewell

Organization/Location: D&R Greenway Land Trust, New Jersey

Adviser: James Amon, D&R Greenway Land Trust

As an intern with the Princeton-based D&R Greenway Land Trust, I worked to ­improve the health of ecosystems on their preserves, and beyond, by mitigating the impact of ­invasive plant species. My summer experience encompassed many facets of the ­Greenway’s mission, from growing native plants in a nursery to be planted on the ­preserves, ­eradicating invasive plants on the properties with loppers and herbicide, ­working on a farm, to cultivating thirteen different species of native wildflowers and grasses whose seeds will be used on a landfill in Staten Island. I gained insight into the operations of a land trust by attending stewardship meetings and accompanying staff members on surveys of conservation easements. Another intern and I also devised materials for a donor-initiated Children’s Discovery Trail on one of the preserves. I am considering a major in sociology, and seeing how D&R Greenway fits into the social fabric of Mercer and Hunterdon counties led me to ponder ways to incorporate environmental issues into that field of study. (See presentation.)


Eric Teitelbaum, 2013, Chemical and Biological Engineering


Project: Planting Native Plants at the Bulk Seed Project at the St. Michael’s Preserve in Hopewell

Organization/Location: D&R Greenway Land Trust, New Jersey

Adviser: James Amon, D&R Greenway Land Trust

"This past summer I interned at the D&R Greenway Land Trust in Princeton NJ, a nonprofit organization that promotes the conservation of land in Central NJ through stewardship and an in-house nursery program. As a stewardship intern, my focus was primarily on the restoration of their land preserves, but I also spent time with a bulk seed project funded by New York City to establish sufficient native plant seed to restore the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. This was my second year as an intern with the D&R Greenway, and seeing the results from last summer was truly an insightful experience. At the preserves, we remove invasive species to allow native plants to become competitive, and often plant deer-resistant natives in place of the invasives. Coming back for another year, I was able to see the transformation of landscapes from being completely ­dominated by invasive plants to promising forests and meadows able to sustain native fauna." (See presentation.)


Alisa Tiwari, 2014, Undeclared


Project: Developing & Implementing Environmental Public Policy Initiatives

Organization/Location: United States Congress - Office of Senator Bennet (CO), Washington, D.C.

Advisers: Michael Litchman, Visiting Lecturer in Psychology; Sebastian Dawiskiba, United States Congress - Office of Senator Bennet (CO)

This past summer, I decided to pursue an internship in the Office of Senator Michael ­Bennet (D-CO) in order to advance my understanding of the challenges of ­developing and ­implementing public policy initiatives. My goal was to learn about the legislative ­process for change as well as how to be of service to my community by ­researching ­environmental issues. As an intern, I gained invaluable insights into congressional ­processes. My ­responsibilities included producing a daily press packet, researching current legislation, responding to constituent concerns, attending committee ­briefings, working on office publications, and developing memos or talking points for the Senator. Working inside our political system allowed me to establish a framework for ­understanding the ­concerns that currently face our country and the process necessary to instigate change. The ­internship solidified my interest in public service, community awareness, and ­environmental issues and furthered my intentions to pursue a course of study in politics, history, and ­economics. (See presentation.)


Jason Warrington, 2013, Politics


Project: Boosting Positive Corporate Environmental and Social Impact at Terra Cycle

Organization/Location: TerraCycle, New Jersey

Adviser: Richard Perl, TerraCycle

At TerraCycle, my role was to assist the members of the Executive Department in ­furthering the development of TerraCycle’s business. My work specifically dealt with ­increasing the environmental and social impact of the company, ­expanding the ­global/domestic reach of the TerraCycle business model, and improving the ­relationship ­between the employers and employees. I aided in the international expansion of a new rewards program that stresses social and environmental responsibility over ­monetary compensation, developed waste management portfolios known as ­Recycling ­Audits, and selected and screened different insurance companies for the one that could ­provide TerraCycle employees with the best benefits package for the lowest cost. During my time at TerraCycle, I gained a number of essential business skills such as the ability to conduct meetings and to advise and negotiate with people in different countries. In addition to these skills, I also learned the ins and outs of turning trash into cash. Thanks to my experience at TerraCycle, I now have a better understanding of how for-profit business can fit into the environmental movement and I am intent on pursuing an environmentally-focused career. (See presentation.)


Anne Weinmann, 2012, Art and Archaeology


Project: Sustainability Efforts in the Trenton Community

Organization/Location: Isles, Inc., New Jersey

Adviser:Meredith Taylor, Isles, Inc.

I worked this summer at Isles in Trenton. My personal goal for the internship was to ­explore a career in an environmental non-profit focused on food and sustainability. I went into the internship hoping to learn about the impact and importance of urban gardens to uplift cities like Trenton. While much of the work felt hands-on and less ­intellectual, I found that by the end of the summer, I had learned a lot about both aspects of the ­organization. I helped organize the garden’s CSA (community sponsored agriculture) on a weekly basis, both maintaining the garden and providing information about the produce to the shareholders. Other than working in the garden, the interns worked on a research project we requested to start a process for making community gardens ­self-sustained. Ultimately, we hope that the gardens will initiate the formation of a ­co-op where the produce will be sold to corner stores helping eliminate food deserts ­within New Jersey. My supervisor took the interns to several meetings when we requested more ­information about initiatives and concerns of the organization. These meetings helped me ­understand how important connections between non-profits are to achieve an ­overall goal. While I do not plan to build upon this internship for my thesis, I do hope to pursue a career in sustainable food of some sort, and this internship broadened my ­horizons about where potential opportunities might be. (See presentation.)


Lauren Wyman, 2014, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Project: How Will Climate Change Impact Fish Species?

Organization/Location: Environmental Defense Fund, Washington, D.C.

Advisers: David Medvigy, Assistant Professor of Geosciences; Stacy Small, Environmental Defense Fund

How will climate change impact the United States’ biota? During my internship at the ­Environmental Defense Fund, I helped conservation scientists come one step closer to ­addressing this question by analyzing the impact of climate change on fish species in Illinois. To engage in the aptly dubbed Climate Change Vulnerability Analysis, I first studied how climate change is impacting freshwater aquatic systems, then ­extensively researched and documented life history traits of each of Illinois’ 195 fish species. I also analyzed my findings in a Climate Change Vulnerability Index program developed by NatureServe Explorer. The end product of my investigation revealed where each species ranked on a scale from “Increase Likely” to “Extremely Vulnerable” due to climate change. The final results of my project will help conservation scientists target species of concern in Illinois and will pave the way for more in depth field studies of climate change’s ­consequences on the Midwest’s freshwater fish. My individual work was part of a larger climate change vulnerability project that includes not only fish species but also mammals, ­amphibians, reptiles and birds. My findings will be presented at a workshop for conservation scientists at the end of September. (See presentation.)


Iris Zhou, 2013, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Project: Remediating Lead Pollution in Asia

Organization/Location: Natural Resources Defense Council, China

Advisers: David Lennett, Natural Resources Defense Council; Anastasia Vrachnos, Princeton in Asia

Despite heavy censorship, reports of mass incidents of lead poisoning ­steadfastly ­blemish the image of China’s prosperous economic growth. In response to case ­after case of­ elevated blood lead levels, in 2011, China rapidly passed its 12th, 5 Year Plan on the ­remediation of heavy metal pollution and launched a so-called ­"environmental ­protection storm," ­pressuring provincial governments to keep ­detailed records of ­lead-polluting ­companies and to shut down non-compliant factories. My role at the ­Natural ­Resources Defense Council (NRDC) was to lay the groundwork for NRDC to ­collaborate with ­provincial ­government officials on projects such as the ­remediation of lead polluted soil. To do so, I translated the environmental ­protection 5-Year Plan of ­Yunnan Province and gathered data on the provincial ­distribution of major lead ­polluting ­industries. In order to assist my supervisors in their grant ­applications, I also wrote two ­reports: one on the projected growth of lead miners, smelters, and acid battery manufacturers and another specifically addressing the issue of lead acid battery recycling in China. This internship helped foster my interest in environmental policy, especially in Asia, and I hope to one day return and resume the work I began this summer. (See presentation.)


Engineers without Borders, Huamanzaña, Peru


Prakhar Agarwal, 2014, Operations Research and Financial Engineering

Nicole Businelli, 2013, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Barbara Hendrick, 2012, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Michelle (Yifei) Liu, 2013, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Emily Moder, 2013, Environmental Engineering

Leonardo Stedile, 2014, Computer Science

The overall goal of EWB-USA is to promote community-driven development programs through the design and implementation of sustainable engineering projects. This summer we traveled to Samne, La Libertad, Peru in order to collect data on potential development projects within the community and its surroundings with the objective of opening a new EWB-USA (Engineers Without Borders) program in the fall. We initially evaluated the possibility of implementing a waste management program (involving trash collection, recycling, and a landfill). We completed compositional and volumetric assessments of current trash sites. We also assessed other possibilities and ended up focusing on a potable water system because of community-driven support. This led to our testing the spring boxes and reservoirs that connect the main part of town along with the contaminated water of the Rio Moche, a source of “drinking” water. We built connections with local community members and NGOs and hope to open a new EWB 5-year program in Samne this year.


PiA Summer of Service, China


Wynne Callon, 2013, Undeclared

Eliot Gee, 2013, Anthropology

Nikolai Kapustin, 2013, Politics

Caroline Kitchener, 2014, Undeclared

Stephanie Ochoa, 2012, Molecular Biology

Helen Reveley, 2012, Religion

Katelyn Scanlan, 2013, Civil and Environmental Engineering

William Schleier, 2013. Woodrow Wilson School

Caroline Shifke, 2012, Religion

Anne (Lingbo) Tong, 2013, Economics

Cameron White, 2014, East Asian Studies

Adviser: Tina Coll and Anastasia Vrachnos, Princeton in Asia.

The Princeton in Asia (PIA) Summer of Service Program offers Princeton undergraduates the opportunity to run an English immersion camp for Chinese university students in Jishou City (a city in Hunan Province, China). This summer, 11 students participated in this program. Three years ago, Princeton students launched "Greening Summer of Service," an initiative that introduced environmental programming into the curriculum to cultivate a dialogue with their Chinese students surrounding some of the significant environmental challenges facing China. Along with teaching English, Princeton students organized afternoon extracurricular activities for the Jishou students. This year the activities included sports, cooking, orphanage volunteering, dance, and speech. In an effort to raise the students' awareness of environmental issues, one week was devoted to teching about the environment. The Princeton students taught lessons on global warming and renewable energy, and each of the classes did a project focused on the environment. Local students took pictures of garbage and wrote poetry to accompany the images; others interviewed the city's garbage collectors to document the changes they have seen in the environment over the years and field their suggestions for the future. Another group produced environmental videos on topics from water conservation to the use of public transportation, and yet another group interviewed food vendors to understand the challenges of the food cycle in the city and identify ways residents could help improve the system. The week culminated with the celebration of Earth Day, during which each class presented their finished project to the rest of the students. The focus on environmental studies, encouraged students to think about the world around them and how they could do small things to contribute to the health of the environment. The exchange between the Princeton and Jishou students fostered a unique connection across cultures over shared environmental challenges.