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Humpback whale playing with kelp

Why do humpback whales wear seaweed wigs?

Alison Wood Ali is WDC's education projects coordinator. She is the editor of Splash! and KIDZONE,...
Japanese whaling ship

WDC in Japan – Part 5: The meaning of whaling

Katrin Matthes Katrin is WDC's communications and campaigns officer for policy & communication in Germany...
Risso's dolphins off the Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Unravelling the mysteries of Risso’s dolphins – WDC in action

Nicola Hodgins Nicola is WDC's cetacean science coordinator. She leads our long-term Risso's dolphin research...
Save the whale save the world on a tv in a meeting room.

Saving whales in boardrooms and on boats

Abbie Cheesman Abbie is WDC's head of strategic partnerships. She works with leading businesses to...
Outcomes of COP28

Outcomes for whales and dolphins from COP28

Ed Goodall Ed is WDC's head of intergovernmental engagement. He meets with world leaders to...
Taiji's cove with boats rounding up dolphins to be slaughtered or sold to aquraiums

WDC in Japan – Part 4: A journey to Taiji’s killing cove

Katrin Matthes Katrin is WDC's communications and campaigns officer for policy & communication in Germany...
Blue whale at surface

Creating a safe haven for whales and dolphins in the Southern Ocean

Emma Eastcott Emma is WDC's head of safe seas. She helps ensure whales and dolphins...
We're at COP28 to Save the Whale, Save the World.

We’re at COP28 to save the whale, save the world

Ed Goodall Ed is WDC's head of intergovernmental engagement. He meets with world leaders to...

Pausing to Reflect on Policy

Over the last three and a half months I have been fortunate enough to be one of the first policy interns at WDC’s North American office. After two years of law-school considering the legal implications of regulations and policy decisions surrounding marine wildlife, it was a new track for me to apply my skills in an entirely non-legal setting. As my last day in the office as a WDC intern begins to wind down, I am left with a moment to pause and look back over where this summer has taken me.

The first thing I notice is that this might be the first time in the last three and half months I’ve actually had the option of stopping to look back on my work this summer. It quickly became apparent to me that even though I spent most of my time in the office, I was kept every bit as busy as my fellow interns who were going out in the field. Although I came into this summer expecting to focus on ship strikes in Sri Lanka, the broad spectrum of issues faced by marine mammals and multiple proposed rules from National Marine Fisheries Service has forced my work to be far more dynamic than originally anticipated. In the last three and half months I have been pulled every which way, being forced to work on vessel strikes, marine entanglements, noise pollution, captivity, drive hunts, whaling, wind farms, and so much more. Before starting this internship my interests focused largely on the impacts of noise pollution in the marine environment. After this summer I am surprised how my knowledge has expaned in just three and ahalf months, turning me into a much more well-rounded advocate.

One of the aspects that has been truly enjoyable for me is to diversify my tool box as a future marine mammal advocate, not only by working in a non-legal setting, but also by working in a team with field interns, all of whom have the potential to do great things in the field of marine mammal science. As has been pointed out to me several times this summer when faced with a problem lawyers tend to look at issues differently than biologists, both of whom look at things differently than advocates and policy makers. Over the course of the summer I have felt greatly blessed to work with individuals, both inside and outside the organization, with such diverse backgrounds, who have allowed me to grow both personally and professionally.

Further comfort is that while this is my last day as a WDC intern, it is not my last day working with the organization (a fact Regina is often quick to remind me of). This fall I will be working under a local attorney, and plan to stay involved with the organization in a variety of capacities. I look forward to continuing my work with WDC, albeit in a different setting and helping them continue their mission of advocating for a world where every whale and dolphin is safe and free.