At the Intersection of Hydrology & Sociology with Christa Brelsford



Hi, I'm Christa Brelsford. I'm a Liane Russell Fellow at Oak Ridge National
Lab. I've always had an idealistic bent and I can't
think of a better way to spend my career than trying to understand, prevent, and mitigate
what I see as the biggest risk to our global society: climate change. I grew up in rural Alaska in a small village
of 83 people, not far from the villages that are producing America's first climate refugees
as climate change-driven coastal erosion literally wipes their villages off the map. I then spent a decade living here in the desert
Southwest where allocation institutions that were appropriate for last century's problems
are now creating a situation where one more drought might cause major social and economic
upheaval. These are complicated hydrological and environmental
systems, but the problems we face because of changes in these physical systems will
only be solved through interventions in human social structures: our laws, policies, and
behaviors. We cannot understand the complex and interdependent
world that we live in without developing theoretical and empirical models that acknowledge the
role of human social structures, choices, and behaviors.

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