Protecting Water for Future Generations
Graduate program allows student to pursue passion for protecting the environment while earning concurrent doctorate and law degree.
Adam Wicks-Arshack has paddled every inch of the 1,243-mile Columbia River.
As a river guide, he has also spent summers helping bring youth from the Nez Perce and Shoshone-Bannock tribes to the waters of Hells Canyon and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River as a way to blend cultural tradition with a modern recreational lens.
“I think I feel whole on the river and I want to protect that for future generations,” he said. “The educational experience here at the University of Idaho is teaching me how to tell stories, both from a legal and scientific perspective.”
That’s what compelled the 29-year-old concurrent-degree student to enroll as one of 24 students in the University of Idaho’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT), a National Science Foundation-funded program that includes doctoral students from across disciplines to study challenges related to water. He earned his Juris Doctor in spring 2017 with an emphasis in environmental law from the College of Law and has just begun to contemplate his dissertation in the Water Resources Graduate Program.
“I just want to become an expert in these areas, whether I focus more on law or science, I want to be fluent in both of them,” he said.
Wicks-Arshack has long known the language of guiding and policy from a recreational perspective, but hopes his concurrent degree as part of IGERT will ground that philosophy in the science and laws surrounding the water, endangered species and ecosystem processes.
“The University of Idaho really creates a unique opportunity to dive into these interests of mine at a very high level,” he said, allowing him to understand water as a life source for fish, farmers, recreators and others who rely on it.
Article by Brad Gary, University Communications & Marketing
Published in the spring 2018 issue of Here We Have Idaho.