Hello CSS Community:
My name is Daniel Wagner and I’m a Spring 2017 Civil and Environmental Engineering B.S. Candidate in the A. James Clark School of Engineering. In the summer of 2016, I interned at the Department of Energy in the Office of Environmental Management through the Minority Educational Institution Student Partnership Program (MEISPP). I learned a great deal about how government entities, in general, extract and decommission hazardous waste material from Superfund sites and about government organization.
My internship lasted from June 6th to August 12th. MEISPP provided their interns with free housing at George Washington University which ended up making my commute time about 12 minutes. At my internship, I took on a variety of projects set by my supervisors to raise awareness about the office and to research applicable topics to Deactivation and Decommissioning. One of my projects involved knowledge management and updating the Department of Energy’s Wiki database. I also researched climate change adaptation and sustainability planning at the DOE’s Savannah River Site (SRS). I observed power usage and gross square footage of SRS facilities using government databases. Among many other parameters for sustainability, I completed a presentation at the end to present my findings and evaluation. Updating the web content and maps of Superfund sites, I also worked on the Environmental Management website. Similarly, I created two infographics, one internal and one external, to inform everyone about infrastructure management in the office. While I gathered experience using Microsoft Office products, I, more importantly, learned about processes in removing nuclear waste from facilities including Climate Change Adaptation processes in their infancy. Finally, I received a glimpse of how the government is organized and how every 18 months, in the DOE, the government re-organizes itself.
When I reflect upon my experience at the Department of Energy, I am given insight into possible pursuits after college. Before this internship, I was uncertain if I wanted to attend graduate school immediately after college or work for a company in environmental/water resources engineering. Thanks to my internship, I learned about how some government entities and companies have tuition reimbursement; this makes me still consider grad school. However, my supervisors advised that I confirm that the work I’m going into, for the next 50 years, is something that I’ll enjoy. As a result, I intend to gain experience after college working for company in storm water, waste water, or consulting. After a few years of experience, I will decide whether or not I want to attend graduate school.
– Daniel Wagner, University of Maryland ‘17