Photo Credit: SER Texas A&M Student Association - Bastrop Park Fire Restoration

On Interning at Island Press: Diving Right In

Photo by David Cook, used under Creative Commons licensing. Kelsie's spirit animal is the splendid fairy-wren. Photo by David Cook, used under Creative Commons licensing.


In this installment, editorial intern Kelsie Renehan watches catalog copy come to life.

None of my past internships have quite compared to my experience at Island Press or the community and dedication therein. Nestled in Dupont Circle (next to a very crucial District Taco), Island Press charms from the start. I was welcomed warmly by the whole office, given an orientation, and began reviewing proposals on my first day. I left already excited for the next workday. How often can you say that? I’ve been consistently impressed with how committed the entire staff is to teaching me, inside and outside the scope of Island Press, and how patient they are with my questions. The amount and variety of work entrusted to me only motivates me to work harder and learn more, and there is so much to learn. As someone who was not originally very involved in the sciences, I am not always as familiar with the environmental vernacular as I would like, but that’s become part of the fun, and everyone is willing to help. Not only am I learning more about the editorial process in publishing, but I’ve learned about environmentally conscious habits through lunches with coworkers, and our current projects and proposals continue to educate me about sustainability, the built environment, and ecology. Besides evaluating proposals for publication, I secure art permissions and reviewers, process contracts, and help with the transmittal of manuscripts. I’ve even conquered the shipping machines and accounting forms, which I’m a little too proud of. Watching the catalog copy come to life has been one of my favorite parts of this experience. It was passed through the hands of almost everyone on staff and built tirelessly out of cover meetings, drafting and redrafting, and constant communication with the authors. Above all, I am genuinely excited by the books we’re publishing and the amount we’re able to do for a non-profit. Publishing is a fast paced business, and demands a lot of juggling, but everyone here has kept me grounded and made even the busiest days manageable. I’m honored to have worked with such an amazing, kind, and incredibly intelligent group of people.