Wide World of Science

The most productive thing I’ve ever done on LinkedIn was starting a discussion with a plea about where I should consider getting a PhD in hydrology and climate. The amount of thoughtful feedback I’ve received has been overwhelmingly wonderful, and has gotten me back into the loop of the amazing science that’s being done in the wide world out there. It’s inspiring and intimidating. On the one hand, it makes me super excited to get out there and do that kind of science myself. On the other, the passion and productivity of some scientists boggles the mind.

One commenter pointed me towards this article on Katharine Hayhoe, a Texas Tech climate scientist who is now one of Time’s 100 most influential people. I first ran across her while watching a documentary on the stress climate scientists face from those who pelt them with “Freedom of Information Act” requests – a barrage of political red-tape that initially made me pessimistic about joining the fray. It’s a small victory every time climate science reaches out through a new channel, and Dr.Hayhoe’s is particularly relevant – she’s put effort into reconciling scientific reasoning and her evangelical Christian faith. That flavor of Christianity has unfortunately become closely intertwined with the more extreme parts of the Republican Party’s attack on scientific reasoning, and it’s heartening to see an effort to grapple with that issue. I really want to read her and her husbands’ new book – “A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions” now!

“She serves on the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s What We Know panel. This initiative communicates the “Three Rs” of climate change: Reality, Risk and Response. She also serves as a scientific advisor to Citizen’s Climate Lobby, the EcoAmerica MomentUS project, the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, the Evangelical Environmental Network, and the International Women’s Earth and Climate Initiative. ….Hayhoe also serves on the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion; the American Geophysical Union’s Hydrology Committee on Uncertainty; the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climate Predictions and Projections Team and their Climate.gov advisory team; and has contributed her research to and served as an expert reviewer for the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

WOW. I have nothing but respect for her insane powers of productivity; it must be exhilarating to engage with such a high level of scientists and make that kind of difference in the dialogue! Now I just need to figure out how to get there… the hunt for grad programs continues…

Other fantastic programs:
University of Arizona – Of all the places to study drought and climate assessment, Arizona is one of the best.
University of Delaware – It looks like this program covers exactly what I want – they’ve already created a plan for students combining hydrology and policy!
UNESCO-IHE Groundwater Masters – Who wouldn’t want to study groundwater & policy in Delft, Dresden, and Lisbon?
MIT’s Program in Oceans, Atmospheres, and Climate – I might be flattering myself thinking that I’m smart enough for MIT, but it can’t hurt to try?

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