Twelve MEM Students Receive Funding for International Internships

May 14, 2018

Tim Lucas, 919/613-8084,

international internships 2017 image.jpg
Photo courtesy Creative Commons.


DURHAM, N.C. – Twelve students at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment have received monetary awards to help fund international internships this summer.

The awards will help the students, who are pursuing Master of Environmental Management degrees, cover the costs of travel associated with their internships.

“This funding allows students the opportunity to engage in research and internship opportunities abroad which might otherwise be too costly for them to pursue,” says Erika S. Weinthal, coordinator for international programs and Lee Hill Snowdon Professor of Environmental Policy.  

Support for the awards comes from the Nicholas School International Internship Fund, the David Brower Endowment Fund, and the Kuzmier-Lee-Nikitine Fund.

This year’s recipients are:

  •  Dienyabou Barry, who will participate in the Sanford School of Public Policy’s India Summer School Program for Future International Development Leaders (ISSPFIDL), which allows students to work with nongovernmental organizations to address problems associated with poverty and inequality in rural villages in India;
  •  Shiyuan Dong, who will intern at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Germany to assess the greenhouse gas emissions implications of on-grid and off-grid household electrification pathways in developing countries;
  •  Sophie Erfurth, who will work with the Namibia Nature Foundation on a community-based management project on river and floodplain fisheries in the Upper Zambezi, Chobe and Okavango catchment in Namibia, Zambia and Botswana;
  •  Ian Ferguson, who will intern with ISSPFIDL on a Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions-supported project exploring mini-grid failures in India and Nepal;
  •  Michael Keppler, who will intern at the International Fund for Agricultural Development in Italy to conduct an assessment of the agency’s DECOFOS project;
  •  Seokmin Kim, who will work with members of Assistant Professor of Tropical Ecology John Poulsen’s lab to estimate gut passage in wild forest elephants in Gabon;
  • Yue Lin, who will intern at the UN Environment Programme’s International Environmental Technology Center in Japan to study approaches for building climate change resilience through disaster waste management;
  •  Thomas Lutken, who will work with the Prayas Energy Group to assess the relationship between electricity access and reliability on rural development in India; 
  •  Mya Nwe, who will participate in an internship through the Duke Global Policy Program in Geneva, Switzerland;
  •  Kelli Palaka, who will work with Associate Professor of Marine Policy Grant Murray to assess salmon hatcheries and their management practices in Canada;
  •  Taylor Pfeiffer, who will intern with ISSPFIDL to address problems associated with poverty and inequality in rural villages in India;
  •  Benjamin Siegelman, who will work with MCP Mangrove Restoration on an ecosystem restoration project in the Philippines.