Women in Science - Alicia Reinmund-Martinez

Women in Science - Alicia Reinmund-Martinez

Alicia Reinmund-Martinez

Edwards Aquifer Authority’s second Women in Science spotlight is on Alicia Reinmund-Martinez. Alicia has been with the EAA for three years and is a director in our Habitat Conservation Program. The conservation program protects threatened and endangered species within the Edwards Aquifer. Reinmund-Martinez is not your typical scientist. In fact, she has her Bachelor’s in Petroleum Engineering from Penn State University. She received her Master’s degrees in Urban Planning from the University of Texas and Masters of Public Affairs from Columbia University. Her job is to work with environmental scientists to help protect the 11 threatened and endangered species that call our aquifer home.

Alicia spent many years working with the Environmental Protection Agency in water quality. She also worked for the Lower Colorado River Authority in their efforts to protect and improve water quality right here in Texas. Here at the EAA she manages the committee charged with implementing the recommendations made by scientists who provide scientific oversight of the Habitat Conservation Program. This requires administering contracts with vendors, coordinating with EAA partners, insuring financing, and budget oversight. Alicia is also in charge of making sure that the team here at EAA is doing what is necessary to protect our threatened and endangered species such as removing invasive fish species.

Having worked on both sides of the table when it comes to water regulation, Alicia loves that what the EAA does is supported by science. Sometimes policy is not supported by science but when it is, it is rewarding she says. Government policy and regulation requires a great deal of compromise. Here at the EAA, Alicia is helping to ensure that compromise does what is best for both the citizens living within the aquifer’s region and for the threatened and endangered species who call the Edwards Aquifer home.

Reinmund-Martinez’s high school trip to the United Nations sparked her love of water. Although she got her start in the petroleum industry, she rediscovered her passion and is using her training in public affairs to protect the water she so loves. Alicia has experience working for the government on many different levels but says that she enjoys working at the local government level. Here, she can really make a difference.

We asked for the best piece of advice Alicia would give girls going into science and she, as have others here at the EAA, said to find your passion. Once you know what you are passionate about, find a mentor who does what you want to do. Girls need more science and math opportunities in middle school and Reinmund-Martinez tries to give them that through partnering with Girls Start, a non-profit that fosters middle school girls’ interest in math and sciences. Alicia truly believes that if we do not support middle school girls who have an interest in the sciences, they are likely to walk away from the subject for good.

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