Climate Science Researcher Intern
When I entered the Sustainable Development Institute, I truly was a greenhorn to sustainable development. With the kind guidance of Marie Schaefer, SDI’s Research Assistant, and Chris Caldwell, SDI’s Director, I gained an understanding of not only sustainable development but the essential need for the Sustainable Development Institute itself. Being involved in the day to day functions of the SDI, I not only learned the skills of research and administration but also the team ethic it takes to accomplish tasks in a timely manner. Some of my daily tasks included compiling and analyzing qualitative data and assisting with setting up site visits to Tribes in the Northeast region of the United States to work on their climate change plans.
This internship also allowed me opportunities to learn from indigenous scholars around the world. I was allowed access and open communications with indigenous scholars such as Dr. Kyle Powys Whyte from Michigan State University and Tribal officials from several tribes and bands. I was able to attend the U.S.E.T. conference in Washington D.C. and see Tribal policies being developed and implemented. In March, a group of indigenous scholars from Southeast Asia came to CMN. The ability to meet and confer with members of Indigeneity Conference from Southeast Asia allowed me to make and foster worldwide connections.
The interactions with neighboring communities such as the Stockbridge – Munsee band of Mohicans and the Forest County Potawatomi have been eye opening and informative. The very informative and well rounded sustainable development classes at the College of Menominee Nation provide the impetus for my interest in this internship. I would highly recommend this experience for anyone who would like a better understanding of SDI and sustainable development as a potential career. The most important thing I discovered during my internship was that sustainable development is a worldwide career field. The blossoming climate change field is part of that field and it is not only interesting but crucial to investigate for the future of the generations yet to come. With the potential still not realized, I dare to say sustainable development may be as big as the internet in years to come.
Mr. Madden served as a Climate Change Research intern as part of College of Menominee Nation’s consortium membership with the Department of Interior’s Northeast Climate Science Center hosted at University of Massachusetts – Amherst.