Many Women’s Environmental Network members might recognize Andrea, a member of our board since last October. An attorney who works for the non-profit San Francisco Baykeeper, Andrea is working to protect and improve water quality in the Bay. Lately Andrea has been focused on enforcing the Clean Water Act (CWA) by bringing citizen suits against industrial facilities that are in violation of their CWA permits. “It has been a very rewarding job that incorporates both my science background and my legal knowledge,” Andrea says.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Indiana and started becoming interested in environmental issues in sixth grade, due to a very passionate science teacher that taught us about recycling before anyone recycled. I studied biology at Purdue University and went on to the University of Texas (UT) for a Master’s Degree in marine science. After graduating, I worked on a research project studying nutrient cycling in some highly polluted streams. After focusing solely on science, I decided I wanted to shift careers in order to have more of an impact on the environment. I decided to go to law school at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, focusing on environmental law. After graduating from law school in 2010, I moved down to San Francisco to start my current job as an attorney for San Francisco Baykeeper.
How long have you been a WEN member?
I have been a WEN member since last summer, when I first heard about the organization. I found out about the newsletter and went to one of the happy hour events. I really enjoyed it and decided to get more involved right away, so I joined the WEN board in October. It has been great!
What do you like best about WEN?
I like meeting and talking with women who are passionate about the environment. I think we can learn a lot from each other. WEN is also important to me because I work for such a small organization that it can be difficult to network and meet others with similar interests. I also recently got involved with one of WEN’s book clubs, which has been really fun.
What are some of your other activities?
I love being outdoors as much as possible. I enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, and scuba diving. I like going on walks in the woods and bringing along my camera. I also enjoy reading, Scrabble, going to farmer’s markets, playing the piano, and traveling.
What is your favorite thing about living in the Bay Area?
My favorite thing about the Bay Area is being surrounded by water, whether it’s the Bay itself, the ocean, or the many lakes and streams. It makes me happy to be walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, along the beach, or on one of the many piers in San Francisco. It reaffirms my passion for protecting our beautiful environment.
What are some environmental issues that concern you?
For my job, I focus on water pollution in the Bay and its tributaries, but I am also concerned about many other issues. A big issue in California, especially in the Central Valley, is contaminated groundwater. This is already a pervasive problem affecting many communities that rely on groundwater as a source of drinking water. I am also very concerned about the impacts of climate change, especially how drought conditions affect food production across the globe. Our biggest environmental problem in the future is too many people and not enough natural resources!