Cynthia Kanno ’13



Project Title

Improving Sustainability in Agroecosystems

As an intern with the Agricultural Sustainability group of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), I focused on promoting wetland restoration as well as various cropfield and downstream land-use practices in the Mississippi River basin to help mitigate fertilizer runoff, improve water quality, and decrease the span of the hypoxic dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. My primary objective was to evaluate if the conversion of cropland to wetland had net carbon sequestration benefits. My assessment of the state of science on this topic will be used to develop EDF’s policy on the carbon credit potential of wetlands. The best part of my internship was that I felt fully integrated into the team from the start. I conducted multiple side projects with other staff members in preparation for meetings with EDF leadership, federal agencies, senators, and representatives. I also attended workshops, discussions with lobbyists, and department-wide strategic planning meetings. These experiences allowed me to gain insight into the operations of a non-profit organization and to learn how EDF creates change. Thanks to this summer experience, I am interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Geosciences and a career in the environmental field.

Internship Year


Project Category



Environmental Defense Fund, Washington, D.C.


Eileen McLellan, Environmental Defense Fund