As I’ve settled into my role here at the Ohio Environmental Council, I’ve done my best to educate myself on sustainable energy. Obviously, with so many types of clean, low-impact energies out there, there is no way for me to become an expert, but I’ve put my college-honed research skills to the test and become familiar with the basics. Since I am a member of the Green Jobs & Innovation team at the OEC, I tried to understand these new industries from an employment perspective, and especially how they impact Ohio. For example, I learned in my research that Toledo is one of the main North American hubs of solar technology production. Additionally, the miles of Lake Erie coastline available up north have made Ohio an attractive state for offshore wind farm development. Learning about projects like these has helped me understand the importance of the Ohio Green Jobs Database, and given me a sense of how my work will help Ohio’s green economy.
I’ve also spent the last week becoming better acquainted with the OEC, its offices, and its people. I was fortunate enough to sit in on an all-staff meeting last Monday, where we discussed everything from office renovations to the growth of donations to environmental charities. I was also asked to update everyone on what I had been working on, and what I hoped to do in the future – a nerve-wracking experience, but one that helped to boost my confidence about speaking up in meetings.
As far as work goes, I have continued to work on the database and the surrounding technology. This past week, my focus was on online communication between interns such as myself and our boss. At the moment, we all share access to the same Green Jobs account, so my job was to see what it would take for us to switch to a more secure file-sharing system, and whether or not it would be worth it. Working at the OEC certainly has put green on my mind – when doing my research, I opted for the eco-friendly search engine Ecosia (sorry, Google!) that donates money to rainforest preservation.