Last week, we had our first in-person meeting for the Network for Engineering With Nature UGA-ERDC crew since COVID-19 shut down travel in 2019. Throughout our two days in Athens, Georgia, we heard from each research team, learned about how their work has evolved over time, and brainstormed about how we can continue to accelerate the practice of natural infrastructure.
As a communications person, my role is to serve as the microphone for our researchers–to put their work out into the world, where it will hopefully make a difference. On a professional level, I always find workshops like these inspiring–they show the full depth and breadth of the work to come, and always make me want to roll up my sleeves and get to work on creating materials that will help broadcast their research.
On a personal level, workshops like these bring me immense amounts of hope. Our world faces dire problems in the forms of climate change, limited natural resources, unjust systems and rapidly dwindling biodiversity. But our team of researchers is incredibly smart, incredibly motivated, and they’re putting all of their hearts and souls into working toward a more equitable, just, and resilient future. If anyone can do it, these folks can.