Gavin Cook ’15


East Asian Studies

Project Title

Environmental Policy-Making in China: Diesel, F-Gases, and Taxes

My goal as an intern this summer was to research and write papers on two issues to help the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) find funding for two major projects. The first project was the Dumping Dirty Diesels campaign, aimed at improving the quality of diesel around the world, and the second was an incipient project aimed at reducing the use of fluorinated gases. I wrote two papers and served as a translator for a member of the NRDC Washington office at a Montreal Protocol conference in Thailand. At the conference, I networked with Chinese members in the fluorinated gas industry. This experience improved my knowledge of policy, the Chinese language, and environmental issues. I practiced researching in a foreign language, which is essential to my major, and I was able to put my writing skills to use and support the work of an extremely influential NGO. I realized from this experience that I love working with the environment and simply will not be happy in a profession where I’m not constantly thinking about making the world a better place. Overall, the NRDC Beijing office is an incredible place full of amazing people. This was the best summer of my life!

Internship Year


Project Category



Princeton in Asia – Natural Resources Defense Council, Beijing, China


Alvin Lin, Natural Resources Defense Council