Ling-Yee Huang, Water, Society, and Policy

Return to AWR Winter 2015

Ling-Yee Huang is a second year master’s degree student in the Water, Society, and Policy program of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Rice University and received a law degree from the University of Florida. At the WRRC, Huang works as a Graduate Research Assistant for Director Sharon B. Megdal on groundwater governance. 

Prior to moving to Tucson, Huang worked as a policy analyst at the Center for Progressive Reform, an environmental and natural resources law and policy think tank in Washington, D.C. Her work focused on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program, in particular analyzing and developing metrics for the Bay states’ plans to improve water quality in the Bay watershed and to implement Total Maximum Daily Loads for local waterbodies. She also developed a legal framework for climate change adaptation activities and for protecting ecosystem services under current federal environmental and natural resources laws. 

For Huang, this master’s degree represents an opportunity to better understand the scientific aspects of her work in water law and policy. In D.C., she became aware of the boundaries between policymakers and scientists that hinder making informed decisions. By pursuing this degree, she seeks to facilitate better communication between these two groups. 

Huang received a 2014 CLIMAS fellowship. (CLIMAS, Climate Assessment for the Southwest, is a regional NOAA climate center housed at the University.) She spent a year developing an integrated science and law curriculum, using climate change as the context to introduce law students to the nature and process of scientific inquiry and how the law and science intersect in practice. This class will be offered at the UA James E. Rogers College of Law in Spring 2015. 

Working at the WRRC has given Huang great insight into the numerous innovative ways that Arizona handles water supply and demand imbalances, a problem common to many states. Her experience at the WRRC will inform her future work at the intersection of law, policy, and science.