Abegail Gamet at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Abegail is interning at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Region 9 office in San Francisco, CA. The EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment. Specifically, the agency ensures that everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, as well as equal access to the decision-making process regardless of race, gender, income, etc. With particular focus on environmental justice (EJ) concerns, the Region 9 (R9) EJ Office seeks to identify and address prominent EJ issues in California, Arizona, Nevada, and the Pacific Islands.
Abegail’s practicum consists of creating two storymaps of (1) what EPA has already done regarding EJ in R9, and (2) current EJ movements, projects, issues, etc. occurring in the Region while also identifying current EJ leaders and organizations. A storymap is a communication tool which uses spatial data, as well as additional media such as pictures, videos, etc. to tell visually rich stories. Creating storymaps will be essential in providing visual indicators of the geographical locations and information on EJ concerns in the region, while also assessing commonalities and differences of priorities between the EPA and local EJ organizations. Additionally, by observing both EPA’s efforts thus far on the EJ front and the current most pressing EJ issues, it will help determine what the best practices are for EPA involvement in communities with EJ concerns moving forward.