Potential for Green Technologies in Different Fields
As part of my master’s degree at the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, I worked for Global Future Solutions (GFS) as an environmental consultant from June to November 2012. GFS researches green chemistry solutions for the oil and gas, bio-remediation, and agriculture fields in order to develop sustainable, green products to replace toxic, harmful chemicals. As an environmental consultant, I worked under the president and founder of the company, Bruce Smyth. This company is steadily growing into a very lucrative and environmentally friendly business.
During my internship, I became familiar with all the GFS products, many of which I helped personally work on and develop. Here are some examples of the types of projects I worked on while at GFS:
- I worked on a product used for poultry litter to reduce ammonia, improve the quality of life for chickens, and increase production.
- I worked with was a product that aids in bio-remediation for oil spills. To assist in the creation of this product, I researched the BP oil spill in the Gulf in 2011 and spoke with oil and gas industry members on the need for a green, non-toxic product to effectively clean up oil spills, whether small or large.
- I spent the most time researching MEGR 102 a substance that has the potential to replace some toxic chemicals found in hydraulic fracturing fluids.
Other tasks I was assigned during my internship at GFS ranged from creating presentations, writing documents for customers, and researching policies and laws related to GFS various products. At the end of the day, these tasks helped broaden my environmental knowledge and put the skills I developed during graduate school to the test.
Bard CEP’s first year of intense academics gave me the knowledge and tools to provide GFS with a fresh view on the environment. CEP interdisciplinary courses and projects helped me to organize, understand, and promote GFS’s products for a range of industries. As a new company, GFS focuses on research and information sharing. After my first year at CEP, I was extremely efficient in written communication and PowerPoint presentations. I noticed a need for more communication through written work between GFS scientists and their clients and customers. Because of this, I took the initiative to focus on improving these gaps and creating presentations and written documents to share with new and existing customers.
My coursework at Bard directly prepared me for the internship. Thanks to CEP’s environmental science class, I was familiar with the different topics relevant to my internship work, everything from agricultural pollution to issues concerning hydraulic fracturing. My environmental policy final exam focused on policies related to hydraulic fracturing, and thus provided me a baseline of knowledge for the MEGR 102 product research. My law class helped me become familiar with environmental statutes and cases, so when I was asked to fly out to California to go to small claims court for an unpaid bill for GFS (something completely different than what I had been doing, but because no one else was available) I was able to represent the company and be assertive enough to handle something I had never done before.
The array of classes at Bard CEP also allowed me to work efficiently with a range of professionals, from scientists, to business leaders, to oil and gas representatives. I helped GFS bridge a gap between what our scientists were reporting and what information potential customers were receiving in an exciting and easy to understand manor. With the hands-on experiences from my internship, combined with my master’s coursework, I can confidently begin my thesis work and my environmental career.