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New Circle of Blue Crew – Allison Voglesong

What do you do in the first month of your dream job? Since relocating from metro Detroit to the Traverse City-based office, Allison Voglesong, Circle of Blue’s newest editorial intern, sums it up.

east grand traverse bay traverse city sunset circle of blue internship
Image © Allison Voglesong / Circle of Blue
Traverse City, MI: The east bay at sunset. Click image to enlarge slideshow.

Why Me?
I ask myself that from time to time, as I am so truly grateful to be working with an organization as remarkable and innovative as Circle of Blue. I first discovered the value of Circle of Blue’s work as a student of international relations at Michigan State University’s James Madison College, where my focus was on water and its role in the global political economy.

After graduating in 2010, I researched for a third-party green-building certification company called Society of Environmentally Responsible Facilities. I then sunk my teeth into the media world with the Radish Creative Group production company in metro Detroit. Through the strong networks of Detroit’s entrepreneurial community, I discovered and joined ranks with H2Bid Inc., a company building an online resource for public water utilities to make the bidding process more efficient. (Note: Check out this article about Detroit’s water bills from 2010 by my Seattle-based colleague Brett Walton.)

This has all funneled down to interning this fall with Circle of Blue, where I’ll be focused on researching and writing. See the list of projects below to get a feel for what I’ve been working on this past month from Circle of Blue headquarters at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, one of the coolest places to work.

the village at grand traverse commons circle of blue office headquarters
Image © Allison Voglesong / Circle of Blue
Just another day at the office: Circle of Blue headquarters at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Click image to enlarge slideshow.
  • All A-Twitter
    I’ve started to ramp up my social media skills tweeting for @CircleofBlue on water issues in Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. (I have also been tweeting more than ever from my personal account: @dethsqudsalvadr, a handle inspired by lyrics from my favorite song, Ghetto Defendant by The Clash).
  • The timing has been great, as Stockholm’s World Water Week (#WWWeek) was trending with new reports and web tools that were launching daily during my first week here. In general, some of my favorite accounts to follow include: @WaterWired, @Water, @GeorgeMonbiot, @WorldBankData, @SciAm, and @ClimateDesk. It would also be foolish not to mention @GuaridanSustBiz, who recently mentioned Circle of Blue as one of the top water sustainability tweeters.
  • guardian sustainable business top water tweeter twitter circle of blue tweet
    Image courtesy of Guardian Sustainable Business
    World Water Week is the perfect time to start following a few water experts on Twitter. The Guardian‘s Sustainable Business division put Circle of Blue among the top of the list. Click image to enlarge slideshow.
  • Streaming Live
    One step beyond 140 characters of news is The Stream daily newsletter, which I get the opportunity to write once a week. The Stream deals exclusively with global freshwater issues (though it’s been known to get brackish…) and focuses on the big picture, mentioning the most notable water news of the day. You can read and subscribe to The Stream here.
  • Splash! Action Figures
    I’ve been interviewing the “superheroes” — at Circle of Blue, we call them Action Figures — who are making waves in the fields of water, food, energy, and climate. I get to hear their personal stories about how they came to be passionate about their field. (One question I’ve always wanted to ask, but haven’t yet, is a hypothetical: “If you were an Action Figure, what would be your onomatopoeia? Splash! Zap! Plink!” Stay tuned to our Action Figures series here and get to know more about the “boots on the ground” who make our world a more livable place.
  • Water Pricing
    My primary interest is in the debate over whether or not putting a price tag on water will help us conserve it and value it more as the world’s most precious resource. Keep an eye out as I begin to cover all aspects of the issue from the roots in economics to the real-life implications. I hope you join me on this journey of discovery as I strive to find out whether the water pricing solution is vindicated or virulent.

Want to know what it’s like to intern with Circle of Blue? Email me at allison@circleofblue.org or comment below. And check back soon for new and exciting developments!

–Allison Voglesong
Circle of Blue editorial intern

Author: Allison Voglesong   is an editorial intern for Circle of Blue based out of Traverse City, Michigan. She holds a BA in International Relations from Michigan State University's James Madison College. Her interests include water pricing, environmental economics and policy, and conflict mediation.

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