- About IDCE
IDCE Students Profiles
Maatsi Angwafo (ES&P ‘06)
Clark’s ES&P Program has been helpful to my work because it provided a synopsis for technical evaluations, decision making, and policy management. Taking natural sciences plus social and political science was helpful in knowing how to better integrate different perspectives and provoked me to consider how experts work together to meet a common goal.
I found the program to be a true test of merging the gap between science and policy in a way that is different from most other programs. There’s a unique perception and thought process developed after delving through the natural and social sciences in the way that IDCE does.
1. Please describe your present professional position? Please include the URL of your organization.
I work for the Department of Energy, with the Office of Compliance, under the Office of Environmental Management. The mission of the Office of Environmental Management (EM) is to clean up contaminated sites and dispose of radioactive waste left behind as a byproduct of nuclear weapons production, nuclear powered naval vessels, and commercial nuclear energy production.
The position I hold is an Environmental Protection Specialist even though I’m still in the developmental stages of my career. There are a lot of different activities that I support. As part of my job, I am responsible for developing, compiling, and maintaining current information on EM compliance with existing environmental regulations/agreements/policies among other things. I am also charged with analysis of compliance data and identifying trends and issues with compliance. I participate in recommendations to management on resolutions to issues and or changes to the relevant regulations/agreements/policies.
2. What do you find satisfying about your position?
The opportunity to learn and draw from the vast and diverse experiences that each of my team members have. There is ample training and coaching as well. It is the biggest challenge so far to engage in issues that are so technical in nature, yet so highly regulated and complex; that must adhere to compliance, (which is our goal) but also to a cleanup schedule (to avoid fines and legal actions) in the midst of roadblocks from programmatic budgeting, legal, and concerned groups’ issues.
3. How did the ES&P program at Clark University help to prepare you?
Clark’s ES&P Program provides a synopsis for technical evaluations, decision making and policy management. Taking natural sciences, social and political science courses in the format in which they are structured really helps one remember to integrate their different perspectives and to always look out for what they’ve missed. It provided a great overview to the environmental field and the kinds of questions that constantly need to be asked - an essential sense of systemic thinking and direction.
4. Why should prospective students enroll in the ES&P program at Clark University?
It is a true test of ‘merging the gap’ between science and policy. It is different from most other school’s programs. There’s a unique perception and thought process developed after delving through the natural and social sciences in the way that IDCE does.
5. Did you have an internship as part of your Clark education? If so, how did it help to connect you to your current career?
I had various internships. My first internship at Clark was with Human Environment Regional Observatory (HERO) and I got a lot of exposure to the scientific process especially on data validation and data presentation. Subsequently, I went to conferences and presentations following the HERO research. In the summer of 2004, I worked as an intern with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Environmental Clean-up and Acceleration, where I focused on waste management regulations and techniques, participated in leadership conferences and rule making processes, and investigated DOE waste sites and waste management techniques. I also worked for Casey Trees in the summer of 2005, where I was an Urban forestry team leader, mentoring a team of high school students in Washington, D.C. on maintaining the tree population in D.C. We also conducted a pilot study on the perspective and restoration of ecological landscapes (a watershed) in Southeast DC.
6. What was the topic of your research while at Clark University?
My undergraduate thesis was titled “Water Resource Management: Perception vs. Reality of Water Supply and Demand in the Language of Sustainability.” My Master’s thesis was “RethinkingSustainable Development in the case of Cameroon's Forest Law.”
7. Is there anything else you would like to add?
The program under which I came into the Office of EM, at DOE is the EM Professional Development Corps (formerly the EM Career Intern Program). It is designed to provide a continuing source of highly competent technical personnel with the skills and knowledge to meet the EM program’s current and future technical staffing needs. The EM Professional Development Corps also affords us the ability to assess, develop and nurture our corps’ potential to serve as future leaders and managers within EM, the Department of Energy and the Federal government.