This fall, University of Mississippi senior Shelley Clark served as a Defend the Gulf Outreach Intern on her campus. In the following guest post, Shelley describes her work over the past semester and how it helped her decide on her future plans in environmental law. We’re currently recruiting Outreach Interns for the spring. Apply today to make a difference like Shelley has in her own community! I am currently a senior at the University of Mississippi and volunteered as an outreach intern this semester with the Gulf Restoration Network. I was able to serve as an intern from Oxford, but still got to visit New Orleans several times! The staff at the GRN is not only knowledgeable about Gulf issues, but also quite personable and enjoyable to be around. My major duties were tabling, gathering signatures, and other forms of raising awareness about current issues in the Gulf. I enjoyed lots of public speaking and learning about current environmental issues that are very relevant to our area. Before working with the GRN, I was not familiar with the principles and tactics of grassroots organizing, but after the completion of my internship I feel as though I have a much better grasp on how to practically implement all of the huge ideas of the environmental movement. Over the course of the semester I have written papers on the detriments of cypress mulch, viewed presentations about the BP oil disaster, and, most importantly, educated others about things I have learned while working at the GRN. I must say the highlight of my semester was working backstage with the GRN’s Michelle Erenberg at Voodoo Festival over Halloween weekend. I got to hang out with the performers and spread the word about Gulf issues.Working with the GRN this semester has been a really rewarding experience as well as a HUGE resume booster. The Gulf Restoration Network has definitely opened lots of doors while searching for internships and jobs for next year. I intend on pursuing a career in international humanitarian environmental law (large-scale Erin Brockovich), so the work of the GRN fits neatly into my career goals. The outreach internships are perfect for people on the go who care about the environment and want to make a difference concerning issues of their own community. As with everything, this internship is what you make it, so a care for the environment and an appreciation for grassroots organizing (conversation with strangers) are necessary. I really appreciated the work of the GRN and enjoyed my time as an intern!