Environmental Science and Management
Amador, Jose, A.
Natural Resources Science
Communication, Politics, Environmental Science
Increased human development and its adverse effects on nature require that our society establish new environmental policies to address these. The implementation and/or modification of environmental policies and regulations comes with its challenges. Evidence-based scientific discoveries play a key part in making effective environmental policy. Without access to and transmission of scientific information, environmental mangers and politicians have no basis to support regulatory changes. Similarly, scientists that do not engage with environmental managers and politicians are restricted developing their scholarly findings into active reform. Growth of environmental protection relies on managers, policy makers, and scientists being aware of each other and working together. For my Honors project, I performed an independent research analysis on how the integration of science and policy pertaining to environmental management regulations plays out in municipal operations. As an environmental scientist, I had the opportunity to work with the On-Site Wastewater Management and GIS (Geographical Information Systems) departments in the Town of Charlestown, Rhode Island over the course of five months. I gained firsthand experience with inter-departmental collaborations, layers of communication, and advancement of environmental management projects. My position at the town hall involved a range of responsibilities including providing outreach to Charlestown residents on town-led environmental programs, consulting with public and private organizations for data collection, assisting with the Wastewater Management Office USEPA $880,000 Grant, and more. From my involvement, I have acquired a more realistic perspective on the significant and influential aspects that affect development and implementation of environmental policy. I will share my reflections on the value of communication, patience, funding availability, community engagement, and political influence in bringing about environmental change at the town level.