Thursday, July 26, 2012

July, July, July!

July is over, which means that National Ice Cream Month is over, but also that there are only a couple more weeks of this internship left. Craziness! I don't know if I have eaten enough ice cream this summer, though I did have a red velvet ice cream recently that was amazing!!! I must get to some of the soft serve places that give you oversized portions which are only open during the summer while I still can, and eat those huge servings while I still can! I have finally gotten familiar with Albany and become comfortable in the office. Its been so nice to get to know everyone here and learn about the work they do, and to be able to help them on their work.  I have been working on a few new projects, and continuing work on some of the older projects.

Unfortunately this is not my own picture, but it looks delicious! 

Another very exciting thing about this summer is that the Olympics have begun! Woo hoo! Though I am not really able to watch much on TV live, its really fun to see video clips online and follow the news. I am so happy for our U.S. gymnasts who have done so well! I am also cheering for U.S women's soccer and impressed by Michael Phelps and his 19 medals! Have you read the awesome NYtimes story about the woman who held the record for the most decorated olympian before Phelps got his 19th? She seems like a wonderful woman!

One project that I have been working on and just about finished is the manure storage database. I have most of the information we need about the Agricultural Non Point Source Abatement and Control Grants Program funds that have gone to farms since the program started in 1994. We are trying to answer some basic questions about how many storages have been funded, and the amount of state funds that have gone to them. A lot of state money has gone towards this program to assist farmers in abating and preventing water pollution from agricultural activities by providing technical assistance and financial incentives. This is because more than 90% of New York's water quality problems are due to nonpoint sources of water pollution. This can be from fertilizers or pesticides, manure, timber harvesting, construction, and road salt applications. For this project, we are looking only at manure storage on Dairy Farms and looking at those farms that have gotten funding and gone through with building a new storage system. Most of the systems installed will help farmers go from daily or short-term spreading of manure, to more long-term storage of manure. A few farms are even going a step further toward sustainability and pollution prevention by turning the manure into compost.

Another project I have been working on is looking at our Website and seeing what we can improve and include in addition to what we already have. I have been looking at other university web pages for their government relations offices and noting what they have in their links and how they organized everything. I went through every page on our own website to make sure our links were active and everything is updated. It is fun to explore the other websites and see where we can expand. A big change can also include more of our pictures and links to Cornell's facebook and twitter.

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