Week 7: A Water Themed Week

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Sunday, July 13, 2014


Ashley Finger

This week, my office had only two interns (compared to the usual four), which made for a busy week. We had two hearings this week: the first was on the EPA's proposed rule on Clean Water Act jurisdiction and the second on fusion energy and the state of ITER—the international experimental fusion reactor project. I was the sole intern working on the fusion energy hearing, and so I got to do the full range of hearing preparation work myself, as well as all of the social media outreach afterwards. The majority of my time, however, was spent doing background research for the Clean Water Act hearing and an upcoming hearing on reforming the EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). I read articles, made charts, wrote memorandums, and transcribed old videos to assist the staff in their hearing preparation. Usually, I have some down time to fill with personal research and attending briefings or other Capitol Hill events, but this week, one research project bled into the next and my 9:00-6:00 work day passed in the blink of an eye.

After work on Wednesday, I got to know the other interns working for the committee better when we went out to dinner on Capitol Hill. Our backgrounds ranged from political science, to engineering, to space policy and we called everywhere from D.C. to North Dakota home. I unfortunately was unable to make the NIST tour on Friday due to the ITER hearing, but I ended my week on a positive note with an office birthday party, jazz in the garden, and dinner at the SPS intern-famous Hill Country BBQ. On Saturday Ben Perez, Caleb, Jake, Stephen, Kelby, and I spent all day kayaking on the Potomac River with beautiful views of the monuments and the Georgetown waterfront. The weather on Saturday was absolutely perfect for a full day outside and being on the water was a nice break from the city environment. Then on Sunday, Kelby, Kearns, and I took a trip to Eastern Market which hosts a flea market, farmer's market, and art fair every weekend.

This past week was fairly relaxed, but next week picks up quite a bit—the events I have on my calendar are extremely exciting!

Ashley Finger