Liz Todd '19
Henry's Fork Foundation Internship, Summer 2018
This past summer I lived and worked in Ashton, Idaho for the Henry's Fork Foundation (HFF). HFF is a cutting edge science non-profit that utilizes exceptional research and inter-organization collaboration to work within the Henry's Fork watershed, a pristine wild and native trout fishery. Located in a heavily agrarian area the water available in within the boundaries of the watershed is parceled off without regard to the ecosystems and biotic life forms under prior-appropriation law. Therefore, in the face of global climate change water consumption is one of the largest issues in play in the region. Under the threat of increasing drought and temperatures HFF realized that water was the lifeblood of the river, the trout and also of the farmers in the region and thus began their Water Marketing program. The work that I do at HFF is directly related to this fledgling program. Last January I began work on my Honors Thesis; brainstorming with Dr. Rob Van Kirk, HFF's senior scientist, to see where my skillset could best help them grow and improve this program. Since then I have been working to develop an ArcGIS model and a scoring system that will geospatially analyze the region and create a water conservation prioritization heat map for the lands within the watershed. My map will then be used in the Water Marketing program, a multifaceted, economic incentive based water reduction initiative, to help them prioritize which land parcels to target. This summer I worked and lived in HFF's beautiful new Community Campus and I really got a feel for the dynamic factors at play in the region. The past 9 months of work on this project has been incredibly rewarding and educational. I'm excited to continue working on my thesis and I hope to see you all at my thesis defense in April! I would like to thank the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity, the Henry's Fork Foundation and the Washington and Lee Environmental Studies Program for their generous funding for my work this summer. Without their support my work, and thesis, would not be possible.