riparian rap

Environmental policy and Obama’s inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Christina Bovinette, Research Assistant and Project Manager at Little River Research & Design.  
Ecohydrologist Lily Hwang talks with a visitor at Disasters
and Environment: Science, Preparedness, and Resilience
Last week
Lily and I attended the National Council for Science and the
13th National Conference: Disasters and Environment: Science, Preparedness, and Resilience in
Washington, D.C.
At most
conferences we interact with geoscience educators, but this
conference was concerned foremost with making science relevant to environmental
policy, so we rubbed elbows with lawyers, public health experts, and
representatives of governmental agencies such as the EPA.
This was
an exciting environment for us because this new audience evoked further potential in
our Emriver models. For example, some envisioned the models’ capacity to show the
processes of deforestation and waterborne disease; others
reaffirmed the models’ value in education and outreach. A Peace Corps volunteer
pointed out that leaders of smaller countries, who have little understanding of
how their local actions affect the broader water system of their region, would learn
from the models. These suggestions showed me the connection between geoscience and policy, and that
Emriver models can influence decision-makers in the US and around the world.
After the conference, I was fortunate enough to join thousands in welcoming President Obama
back to office at his inauguration. I could not help but be swept up by the
spirit of hope and admiration of the crowd. And, of course, I felt this energy
all the more when, in his inaugural address, Obama called for better
environmental policy

and fuel alternatives, and spent more time speaking of this than any other
For now, my faith has been restored in this Administration’s ability to
challenge the threat of climate change, and I hope his
Administration’s actions match Obama’s aggressive speech.
No matter how things go in Washington, Little River Research & Design will continue to counter environmental degradation through its services in river science, conservation, and education, and I’m glad to be a part of that!