1. [PERKINS BASS ‘34 PUBLIC AFFAIRS FUND INTERN PROFILE ]
Julia McElhinney is a member of the Class of 2014 at
Dartmouth College. She is an Environmental Studies Major
and a Studio Art Minor studying the intersection of public
policy, planning and design as it relates to public placemaking.
Julia has a keen strong interest in the role food and agriculture
play in the creation of resilient communities. As a Presidential
Scholar, Julia researched strategies for comprehensive
community planning and design. Julia has a 3.77 GPA.
Julia was funded by the Rockefeller Center for a Summer 2013 internship, with generous support
from the Perkins Bass ’34 Public Affairs Internship Fund.
Executive Summary from Julia’s final report:
This summer I was pleased to intern with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington DC.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is an independent not-for-profit research group that
works tirelessly to ensure governmental policy, corporate practices and consumer choices are
informed by thoughtful and engaged scientific research.
As an intern in the organization’s Food & Environment Program I performed a variety of
scientific and policy research tasks related to the promotion of sustainable agriculture and
thriving communities in the US. Through this
“I look forward to incorporating
research I gained a greater understanding for the
crucial role our local and regional food systems can
what I have learned about the
play in the creation of healthier farms and
importance of sustainable, smallcommunities across the country.
scale food and farm systems into my
academic and professional interests
I conducted research for an upcoming report on
nutrient cycling in a variety of agricultural systems. I
in community building.”
shared my initial research findings in a one-hour
PowerPoint presentation to the Program’s Director, Senior Analyst, Senior Economists and
Senior Scientist. As my research became more detailed and focused, I worked one-on-one with
2. one of the Senior Scientists to develop an outline for the upcoming report. I also ridentified
influential articles to the team for further reading.
I worked with our Senior Washington Representative to research a variety of governmental
programs currently supporting local and regional food systems across the United States. I then
prepared notes on programs within certain congressional districts to be presented to their
respective representatives. I also tracked UCS’s policy priorities as the Farm Bill developed on
the hill over the course of the summer. I analyzed the different versions of the bills and their
amendments and compared the farm and food system frameworks these created to those
needed to achieve UCS’s “Healthy Farm Vision”.
Lastly, I was involved in the rollout of UCS’s latest report – entitled the $11 Trillion Reward. In
this role, I worked with our publicity and policy experts to help make sure that the story of the
economic and health benefits of fruits and vegetables this report was telling was heard by key
governmental offices and officials. For example, I helped our Policy Associate develop a
distribution list tailored to individuals positioned to enact positive change in the American food
and health care systems.
I look forward to incorporating what I have learned about the importance of sustainable, smallscale food and farm systems into my academic and professional interests in community
building. Specifically, I intend to explore the potential of food cultivation and culture to connect
individuals to one another within their communities and to tie these communities more closely
to the earth.
Julia McElhinney ‘14 poses with UCS's Senior Washington
Representative Daniel Brito in front of Senator Udall's office.