What Does An Environmental Communications Intern Do?

The number one question I get asked is: What do you do as an environmental communications intern? I assist in the crafting of headlines, alerts, blogs and webpages covering issues related to environmental conservation. My project for the semester is the creation of a series of issue pages on the National Forests and Grasslands of Texas (NFGT). Issue pages are the place on the Sierra Club’s website where visitors can find more information on environmental issues that are important to the Lone Star Chapter. My job in writing the issue pages for the NFGT is to tell people why they should care about the forests, what threats the forests are facing and how people can get involved. This process starts with a lot of research. I have filled approximately nine pages with information about the NFGT. The next step is to organize the information and shape my argument. Why do four forests and a grassland matter? They are important for many reasons and it is my job to explain those reasons to people who are not as interested in ecology as I am. I have to condense and mold my research into something that people will want to read. I also find lots of pictures and images to help illustrate my points. Links to other webpages are also included for those who want further information. This leads me to the next step in the process, creating the pages. This isn’t as technical as you would think. It is actually very similar to creating a blog on a site like WordPress. I copy the edited material from a Google Doc into the webpage editor. Then comes the hard part: Formatting. The material I enter into the editor rarely looks the same as the published preview (Steps 3 and 4 in the image below). Due to this difference it can take a lot of guess work and time to complete each final webpage including images and links.  Eventually, the “Publish” button will be pressed and my work will be online for the world to see.

A Glimpse at the Publication Process

UPDATE: Four of the five pages are published: National Forests and GrasslandsUnique Habitats and Species, Carbon Sinks, and Management Recommendations.

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