Water Hero: Margaret Palmer

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Dr. Margaret Palmer. http://www.palmerlab.umd.edu/images/drpalmer.jpg

The first interaction I ever had with Dr. Palmer was at a science conference where she was the keynote speaker.  During the Q&A, I raised my hand and introduced my question by saying, “Long time listener, first time caller…”  And I suspect the first part, “long time listener”, was an apt description of most of the audience because Palmer has been an influential scientist in stream ecology for many years.  I have been particularly interested in following her recent focus on mountain top removal / valley fill (MTR/VF) coal mining and its effects on headwater streams in southern WV and eastern KY.  Not only does she carry out research quantifying stream ecosystem function responses to MTR/VF, she also testifies as an expert witness in cases involving the coal companies’ environmental impacts.  Last week Science magazine published a news feature profiling Dr. Palmer’s efforts to step beyond the bounds of a traditional academic and toward being a scientist involved in societal issues.  You can learn more about this leading lady scientist by reading the full Science article here: Palmer, Margaret – The mountaintop witness SCIENCE 2014.  You can also see Dr. Palmer’s appearance on “The Colbert Report ” in 2010 here.

Dr. Palmer is a professor of entomology at the University of Maryland and the executive director of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center in Annapolis, MD.

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