How I'm Moving the Planet Forward

Laura Whaling
November 16, 2017

By Laura Whaling, JMC '18

I joined the team at GW's Planet Forward as a digital media intern last summer. Planet Forward focuses on environmental storytelling with content created by college students across the country.

As an intern, I have learned about the challenges and importance of communicating environmental stories to my generation. This has become even more important living in Washington, D.C. during the current political climate.

No two days are alike working at this small office with an international reach. My focus is on creating content for the Planet Forward social media accounts and I also help manage our events, such as our recent conversation with New York Magazine journalist David Wallace Wells. 

Laura Whaling at Nebraska farm

In September, I took a trip with Planet Forward to Gothenburg, Nebraska to interview a local farmer who grows corn used to produce ethanol, a renewable energy source used as a motor fuel.

The environmental impact of ethanol is highly debated and I have been working on a video project that lays out the complex data in a clear and compelling way. The project has provided a hands-on learning experience for data storytelling and field reporting.

One of my favorite things about working at Planet Forward is that I am able to put the skills I have learned in SMPA courses, like Video Production and Web Production, to use highlighting the environmental stories I am passionate about.

Without these skills and the support of Planet Forward, many of the stories I work on would go untold.