UW Environment scientists discuss what the current political climate will mean for climate education

Oak Creek, in the Verde River Basin of Arizona

Oak Creek, part of the Verde River Basin of Arizona, dries up during parts of the year. With a warming climate, the frequency and duration of streams drying up will increase causing hardships for desert fish

Sarah E. Myhre, a postdoctoral scholar with the Future of Ice Initiative and the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington, and Marisa J. Borreggine, an undergraduate in the UW School of Oceanography, discuss what the election of President-elect Donald Trump will mean for their professions, their futures and our planet. Here’s a snippet of their conversation via Medium.com. Follow the link for more.

Sarah: Marisa, we have worked together for almost a year. We have both grown professionally, we’ve worked on really big, hard projects. Yes, I am a postdoc and I have been mentoring and supervising you. But, we are also collaborators and colleagues. The events of this week (the election of a climate denialist, anti-evidence, anti-women candidate to the highest office in the United States) have called into question my career trajectory and my commitment to my scientific field — and I know this week has been really hard for you, too. We need to talk, and I think we should put these ideas down for other people who are similarly struggling.

Marisa: I agree. I also think, at the very opening of this piece, we should acknowledge that even though our struggle is truly valid and painful, there are so many other people in this country right now who are going to be immediately affected by this election. It is more important than ever before for us to use our privilege to protect these people in whatever ways we have at our disposal. That being said, this is scary for everyone. Every single person I know is affected by this, and not in a good way. The only way to describe election day for myself, and on the behalf of other students in my situation, is a rollercoaster of emotion. Peers of mine involved in politics, activism, business, medicine, and other career choices were all feeling pretty much the same — we didn’t think this would happen, we felt the weight of it all at once, and we are all disappointed.

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