Volume 20, Number 1, Spring 2009

Editors’ Call

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by Alice Wood Conovitz, Integral Consulting

A few weeks ago, I was invited to give a presentation to a class, Business Opportunities in a Resource Limited World, at the University of Colorado Business School. The students were sharp and engaged (particularly considering that it was the last day of classes prior to Spring Break), and it seems likely that the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs might have been sitting in that room. But where will the new business frontiers lie? These students are guessing that “green” business holds the key to their future. The US government agrees, as Blair Hurst explains in her piece in this issue of the green line, Stimulus Bill Funding for Green Projects.

But, promising and smart as the undergraduates in the business class are, when I quizzed them about the influence of Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, and DDT, I was met with blank stares. Generation differences aside, this was evidence of the inherent information gap that frequently exists between environmental and business or other (political, financial, …) sectors. Just as I know very little about how to start or maintain a business, business people, even green business leaders, will often know little about the technical factors underlying environmental issues. No person can know or specialize in everything. However, in our increasingly multi-disciplinary world, where business success can hinge upon overcoming technical constraints, or an environmental project must acknowledge the financial and political climate of the region, we must know and specialize in everything. We just have to do it together. It is important that we “reach across the aisles” of our professional worlds to communicate water, riparian, and other environmental needs to people and groups with political and financial influence. We also must continue to share information within Colorado’s community of water, riparian, and environmental professionals. The Colorado Data Sharing Network, which is highlighted in this issue, is an expanding resource aimed at improving data sharing capacity across the State.

The green line is another excellent avenue to share information. We are always on the lookout for interesting articles about projects, research, trainings, or other riparian-related topics going on around Colorado. Have an idea? Contact one of our editors (contact information on the back page). We would love to hear from you, and look forward to working towards knowing everything, together.