Scholar Spotlight: Aidan Das
Aidan Das is the Land Protection & GIS Specialist at Lancaster Farmland Trust. She enjoys kayaking, hiking, traveling, painting, and exploring Lancaster County in her free time.
We recently asked Aidan about her experience with Lancaster Watershed Leadership Academy.
Q: What inspired you to get involved in the Watershed Leadership Academy?
A: I wanted to expand my knowledge of best management practices for clean water and learn more about the various organizations in Lancaster that are working to improve water quality.
Q: What is your main motivating factor to strive for clean water?
A: I’m motivated to strive for clean water, because we are all effected by water quality in one way or another. Clean water is not only important for a healthy environment, but also for a healthy community and economy.
Q: What were your first thoughts about the Academy?
A: I was excited to see the strong network of water quality professionals and advocates in and around Lancaster.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish through your participation in the Watershed Leadership Academy?
A: I hope to expand my connections to those in the water quality space and continue to learn more about the science behind improving water quality.
Q: What has changed in the way you look at the environment since you began the Academy?
A: I now see just how connected we all are by our environment (and water in particular). The actions we take upstream can have a huge impact on the environment and people living downstream.
For her Academy Action Project, Aidan teamed with fellow scholars Andrew Pauls-Thomas and Megan Blackmon to put on a series of community outreach events in Lancaster City that included activities that demonstrated best management practices, a storm drain mural, and a green infrastructure tour. Their goal was to bring awareness to the existing water quality initiatives in the city as well as show residents what they can do as individuals to improve water quality.
When asked what he is learning about himself through his participation in the Academy, Aidan said, “I’ve learned that I tend to get wrapped up in the details of a task or project and the idea of making it “perfect.” This can be beneficial in some ways but can also cause a stall in momentum. I’ve come to realize that to make progress, you must move forward and take action even if the final product doesn’t turn out to be exactly what you had originally imagined.”