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Op-ed by Ph.D. student on water discrimination, launch of UW Public Expertise Leadership Program

April 28, 2016

The first cohort of the Graduate & Postdoctoral Public Expertise Leadership
The first cohort of the UW Graduate & Postdoctoral Program in Public Expertise Leadership learned how to write to change the world on April 16 with The Op-Ed Project, a U.S.-based organization dedicated to helping underrepresented voices broaden their influence and public reach. The Op-Ed Project facilitator, Michele Weldon (pictured center), is a seasoned and well-known journalist, professor and media commentator.

Tracey S. Chaplin, a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies and UW Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Future of Ice Initiative Sarah Myhre discuss sea level rise, superstorms and drought and the potential to decouple water rights from tenancy in their op-ed “The New Urban Agenda: Water Discrimination” published by Next City on April 26.

The piece is part of a series of reported articles and op-eds that Next City is publishing related to preparations for the United Nations’ Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016.

It was also the outcome of an inaugural program called Graduate & Postdoctoral Public Expertise Leadership at the UW.DSCF4335_cropped

The program launched with The Op-Ed Project, a U.S.-based organization comprised of professional journalists and editors, when over 20 UW graduate students and postdoctoral researchers across departments gathered on Saturday, April 16 for a day-long innovative workshop that was held at the Jackson School.

Students learned how to frame their ideas for publication in leading and relevant newspapers, magazines and opinion outlets through interactive exercises and a high-level national media expert. The goal is for the selected participants to develop skills for the public communication of cutting-edge scholarship on campus and beyond.

Chaplin’s research is focused on water rights in floating informal settlements, and the role of law and social infrastructure in adapting to climate impacts. Sarah Myhre is a climate and ocean scientist with expertise in abrupt climate warming events in the past and present.

Sponsorship of the workshop included the UW Graduate School, Jackson School of International Studies, Simpson Center for the Humanities, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, Office of Global Affairs, Department of Communication, Center for Communication, Difference and Equity, the Certificate in Public Scholarship and the Job and Gertrud Tamaki Professorship.

Read the full op-ed here