- Where did you do your internship and what was your role?
I did my internship at ACTeon Environment in Colmar, France. I contributed to a research project regarding aquatic biodiversity in the European Union called AQUACROSS. Within AQUACROSS, there were eight different case studies in different geographical regions that are facing threats to biodiversity. I worked on the Danube River case study, whose main threat to biodiversity is hydromorphological alterations to the river, or put simply, changes made to the shape of the river (hydroelectric dams, dykes, etc.) These changes impact how the river is connected to wetlands, which consequently affects the ecosystem services that these water bodies provide, such as water filtration and flood prevention. ACTeon was responsible for conducting the efficiency analysis of ecosystem-based management policies aimed at preserving aquatic biodiversity, and I contributed to this analysis.
- How did your studies at TSE help you during the internship?
The courses in ERNA were helpful because we learned about environmental valuation and cost-benefit analysis, both of which were pertinent to the project I worked on. Environmental valuation was useful because we learned about different techniques to value non-market goods like ecosystem services, and about their advantages and drawbacks. To carry out an efficiency analysis of the policy, we will conduct a cost-benefit or cost-effectiveness analysis, depending on what information is available, so it was very useful to have a course on cost-benefit analysis.
- How did you get the internship? What would be your advice for students looking for a similar internship?
I had seen an internship offer from ACTeon on the alumni network site, and then went to their website and found a couple more offers, including one in English that interested me. I applied by sending a CV and cover letter, and then had a Skype interview. I would recommend checking out ACTeon’s website around December or January to see what internships they are offering. Another tip I have is to use the alumni network to see where other people are already working: For example, those interested in environmental economics can use the directory to see where past ERNA alumni are working, if they have updated their profiles.
by Annie Krautkraemer