Barth Takes D.C. by Storm

Originally Posted on November 14th, 2018

A group of five people pose in front of two flags.

IIHR graduate student Nancy Barth (second from right) met with U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack (center) on a recent trip to Washington, D.C.

IIHR graduate student Nancy Barth recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to present her doctoral research (“Flood Frequency and Mixed Populations in the Western United States”) at an event on Capitol Hill sponsored by the American Geophysical Union. She also conducted a seminar at the U.S. Geological Survey’s headquarters in Reston, Va. The USGS live-streamed the presentation via WebEx for other USGS Water Science Centers around the country.

“Some of the top surface water research scientists were in attendance,” Barth says. “I was quite nervous, but I know and have worked with several of the scientists who were there.”

The presentation was so well received, the co-chairs of the national Water Resources Adaptation to Climate Change (WRACC) Workgroup asked Barth to give the same presentation at its monthly meeting. She made the presentation remotely from IIHR.

“All the audience — from members of congress and their staffs to USGS hydrologists and the WRACC workgroup — really valued the work I’ve done with my advisor, Gabriele [Villarini],” Barth says.

Barth also had the opportunity to meet with Representative Dave Loebsack and a staffer for Iowa Senator Joni Ernst to describe the relevance of her geoscience research to public policy. “I talked about flood hazards in the central United States and the need for more funding for the USGS, NOAA, and NSF,” Barth says. “I also encouraged the members to support and join the Congressional Hazards Caucus.”

Barth says that her research with Villarini has allowed her to work on important and relevant topics in applied statistical hydrology. “I’m grateful to have had the chance to share the results of our research with fellow engineers and policy-makers,” Barth says.

She expects to defend her dissertation in mid-November. Congratulations, Nancy!