July 3, 2014

Won’t you be my reader?

Posted by Fushcia Hoover

By Fushcia Hoover

WASHINGTON, DC – If you’ve read any of the recent blog posts, you’ll recognize a name change in the blogger. My name is Fushcia Hoover (the flower not the color) and I’m excited to report that I will be your friendly provider of cool and important science policy information this summer as the intern for AGU’s Public Affairs team. I started 7 June, but with busy preparations for SPC, I haven’t had a chance to formally introduce myself to you readers. I hail from the great state of Minnesota originally but am working on my PhD at Purdue University in Indiana. I’ll be going into my second year for my PhD, but my fourth year at Purdue, having completed my master’s there last August.

In graduate school, I research urban stormwater management methods, and ways to mitigate and reduce stormwater pollution through the use of vegetation. This is commonly referred to as best-management practices or stormwater management practices, and includes rain gardens, tree trenches, green roofs and other techniques. More than this though, I want to merge these practices with community engagement techniques. The presence of green space is known to improve quality of life metrics like health, neighborhood pride, and can additionally be used as an education tool for environmental stewardship and water quality.

My lab group and me in May 2014 for a field day where we planted some 100 tree saplings in accordance with an environmental grant requirement. Credit: Fushcia Hoover

My lab group and me in May 2014 for a field day where we planted some 100 tree saplings in accordance with an environmental grant requirement. Credit: Fushcia Hoover


So if I’m such a scientist, what am I doing in a science policy internship? Glad you asked! Simply put, policy is fascinating! As a voting citizen of this country, I think it’s important to understand and maintain an awareness of on-going policy and the operations of how policy is created. As a scientist and engineer, I think it is important to be involved in the process and serve as an informed voice to policymakers from a scientific perspective. Lastly, as a citizen scientist, I was motivated to learn more about the development of science policy and legislation. How I can contribute to insure that science is fairly represented and accurate, and that legislators are knowledgeable of all science-based resources available so that they can in turn make informed decisions when voting.

Now I will leave you with 10 ‘Did you know?’ fun facts from the recent AGU Science Policy Conference held in Washington, DC, 16-18 June 2014. Don’t be shy, use these babies at a dinner party, summer concert or festival, pool party, departmental meeting or on the bus with strangers!

  1. Some areas of the Arctic are changing or warming three times faster than the rest of the world.
  2. You could save over $90,000 per 10 years if you build 3 feet above base flood elevation vs below it.
  3. Pound for pound, Methane (CH4) traps 84 times more heat than Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
  4. Over the next 50 years, Louisiana will suffer an estimated $7-23 billion in damages due to flooding if no changes are made.
  5. There are zero bridges between the Oregon coast and central state likely to be standing after a major quake.
  6. Over the past 20 years, 87 percent of US disaster aid has gone to disaster response vs. 13 percent to mitigation.
  7. The cost of retrofitting a house for an earthquake is often less than new granite counter-top in kitchen.
  8. Letting your faucet run for 5 minutes uses about as much energy as a 60-watt light bulb consumes in 14 hours.
  9. On average, FEMA says for every dollar spent on hazard mitigation, they save four dollars on hazard impacts.
  10. The number of days over 100°F directly relates to billions of dollars lost to the agriculture industry.

Start sharing the knowledge!

Fushcia Hoover is an intern with AGU’s Public Affairs department