By Morgan Spiehs, program associate
This spring, the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute (WFI), the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the International Arid Lands Consortium hosted a workshop focusing on water scarcity, human security and democratization in relation to the Syrian refugee crisis in the arid lands of the Middle East. The all-day workshop was held at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA and attracted nearly 100 participants.
On Dec. 6, Director of Policy Nick Brozovic presented a report detailing the intersectional workshop and its supporting activities to the International Arid Lands Consortium board in Tucson, Arizona, USA. WFI became an organizational member of the IALC earlier this year.
Prior to the workshop, a team of WFI staff members and interns traveled to Jordan for ten days to learn about water and agriculture in the region, as well as the humanitarian issues related to the Syrian crisis. Of the seven individuals included on the trip, most continue to work within the water discipline.
A staff member on the trip, Molly Nance continues to work for WFI as public relations and communications director, working to expand awareness of the institute as a global leader in water and food sector research and policy development.
A program associate during the trip, Richael Young has since left the institute to work full-time as president of Mammoth Trading, a startup company she co-founded in 2014. Mammoth Trading operates the world’s first active smart water market.
University of Nebraska global studies major James Garza remains an intern for WFI, researching and calculating water risk in Jordan and the broader Middle East and North Africa region, including researching rural pumping practices, the separation of agriculture and water ministries, desalination and pipeline projects. He plans to graduate in May 2017.
After completing her internship and graduating from the University of Nebraska with majors in journalism and women’s and gender studies, Morgan Spiehs began working full-time at WFI as a program associate. She helps develop programs related to food security and water management for food production. Morgan also produces multimedia content for the institute, and recruits, supports and mentors student interns.