Week 1: We’re back at it again!

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Sunday, June 4, 2023


Gizem Dogan

It’s good to be back! As a former SPS intern (Physics Today’22) I am honored to return as the Mather-NIST Science Policy Intern. It feels good to not only to see some familiar faces such as Brad, Mikayla, Kayla, Jack, and my fellow former intern Janessa but also to be back in DC. I was surprised to learn that we are to stay in the same building as last year, Amsterdam Hall. 

Tuesday we had the usual orientation day where we received a warm welcome from SPS family. I also met all of my fellow interns and could feel from those first moments together that we would make a good team. 

My first week went by trying to figure out fingerprinting, badging, and getting my credentials at NIST. By the nature of it essentially being a national laboratory the background checks and badging takes a while so till I received my badge on Thursday I had to stop by the visitor center and obtain my visitor’s badge which required my mentor to be by my side. I’m working with the policy team at the administrative building at NIST. I feel privileged because I’ve actually visited the campus last year as a part of our internship experience. That was the time when I got to see the anechoic room, the clean rooms, the nuclear reactor they have on campus, and the open exhibition space where they have the atomic clock  and many other standards. 

This was also the week I got to spend more time with the administrative team. One of my mentors Lisa was kind enough to accompany me at work on the days I worked in person. Another one of my mentors Said gave me a quick your of the campus where I got to hear about his vast experiences at NIST and why he preferred to come back after working for the private sector for all those years. He also showed me Newton’s apple tree they have at NIST campus. Yes you heard it correctly! NIST has one of the apply trees that is a direct descendant of Newton’s original tree. CRAZY! 

During the weekend I was happy to do some of the things I love doing in DC and visiting the many sites I missed. I took long walks around Georgetown waterfront, the mall, at the Wharf and went kayaking. 

I’m once again sure I’ll end up getting a capital bikeshare membership. I will let you know next week!

Gizem Dogan