Leadership Blog Part 13: Environmental Professionals Day 2021

Last year as COVID restrictions were being initiated throughout the world, NAEP had just shifted from an in-person conference format to a remote conference. At that time, scientists were not being held in high regard in many venues. NAEP was very concerned about how as an organization we were going to navigate this new paradigm of helping our members stay engaged and informed considering all of the changes and uncertainties. Our jobs are critical for public health and safety as well as delivering solutions for the delivery of infrastructure. A conversation with David Bancroft, Executive Director of the International Association of Impact Assessment, about the challenges of engaging our professionals sparked an idea of running a social media event of "Thank an Environmental Professional Day". NAEP and IAIA did a media blast which was well received.

This year, we are still working remotely, communication and networking is still important but, very happily, there has been a major shift in the prominence of science in decision-making. With those thoughts, IAIA and NAEP promoted a social media Environmental Professional Day on April 15, but this time included 11 additional international organizations. We selected the Renaissance Man Leonardo Da Vinci's birthday as a kind of a theme to recognize the diversity of the people and capabilities under the environmental umbrella- the original STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) wrapped up in one individual. 

The 2021 International Environmental Professional Day gained expanded coverage over 2020 and based upon some comments, we expect other organizations to join in for 2022. With that, I raise a toast to all of the environmental professionals out there.

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