skip to main content

→ Top Stories:
Fracking
Safe Chemicals
Defending the Clean Air Act

Heather Allen, International Advocate, Washington, DC

Heather Allen

It’s really study abroad that brought me to NRDC. On a field course in the cloud forests of Monteverde Costa Rica, a professor described a once abundant animal we had yet to see on our long hikes. The Golden Toad hadn’t been seen in years and was at serious risk of becoming extinct as a result of pollution and climate impacts on the toad’s watery environment. And then we kept hiking, and I kept wondering, “Well, what are we going to do?”

The question has stuck with me, and in the meantime, I studied both biology and international relations, hoping to understand and shape international environmental policy. After school I began to work for the U.S. Government at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on issues related to scientific cooperation with other countries, exchange of environmental data and global systems to monitor the health of the earth’s ecosystems.

Now at NRDC I am keen to take my original question even further and work on critical environmental and health issues for the global community: access to safe drinking water, adaptation to the impacts of climate change. The issue of safe water and sanitation is already a challenge in many parts of the world which will only be exacerbated by climate volatility. Looking ahead water, climate and sustainable development will be a key focus at the proposed Earth Summit in 2012 and I am eager to be working on behalf of NRDC to raise awareness and real action on each issue.

 

Recent Posts

U.S. Leadership on Water: Only the Sum of Its Parts

Posted January 26, 2012 by Heather Allen in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, U.S. Law and Policy

Tags:
, , , , , , , , , ,

In his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, President Obama spoke about economic equity and fairness.  There may be no greater inequity among people than the disparity regarding access to clean and safe drinking water.  Nearly 900 million people...continued

What did you do for World Water Day? NRDC workshop explored the links between environmental conservation and clean water for the poor

Posted March 24, 2011 by Heather Allen in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, The Media and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

Tags:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments (1)

On World Water Day, March 22 2011 people around the world celebrated clean water and explored solutions for the world’s biggest environmental health crisis – the lack of safe water and sanitation.  Killing more children each year than AIDS, Malaria and...continued

Clinton and Zoellick sign an agreement on World Water Day which could advance technical work and focus on water

Posted March 22, 2011 by Heather Allen in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, U.S. Law and Policy

Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Today on World Water Day as people around the world celebrated, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Robert Zoellick President of the World Bank signed a broad agreement on water.   The room was packed as Clinton presented the case for water...continued

United States and World Bank will recognize the importance of water on World Water Day, March 22 2011

Posted March 17, 2011 by Heather Allen in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

Tags:
, , , , , ,

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President of World Bank Robert Zoellick are poised to make new committments on water.  Next week on World Water Day, March 22 the World Bank will host a ceremonial signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between...continued

In the lead up to World Water Day cuts to U.S. foreign assistance put clean water programs at risk.

Posted March 7, 2011 by Heather Allen in Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

Tags:
, , , , ,

The Senate stands poised to take votes on the Congressional budget  which include cuts to key programs that endanger health in America and abroad.   My colleagues have blogged on the budget cuts that threaten our clean air and efforts to combat the...continued

The 'Green Economy' and Earth Summit 2012: Why fast-growing mega-cities with challenges of poverty and hunger may hold the key to a sustainable future

Posted January 12, 2011 by Heather Allen in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Green Enterprise, Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

Tags:
, , , , , , , , , ,

Preparations for Earth Summit 2012 are heating up.   The international Summit to be held in May of 2012 in Rio de Janeiro is anticipated to draw leaders from around the world for a meeting on the future of sustainable development,...continued

Final Results at the Cancun Climate Talks: Clear Progress on Climate Finance

Posted December 11, 2010 by Heather Allen in Health and the Environment, Solving Global Warming

Tags:
, , , , , , , ,

Comments (2)

The climate agreement struck in Cancun at 3:30 in the morning today was a significant step forward to reduce global warming emissions and prepare countries to lessen the impacts of climate change.   As the Mexican President of COP 16 Patricia...continued

With no time to lose: new text at climate talks reveals possible compromise on Global Climate Fund

Posted December 10, 2010 by Heather Allen in Curbing Pollution, Living Sustainably, Moving Beyond Oil, Solving Global Warming

Tags:
, , , , , , ,

Comments (1)

The Climate negotiators seem to have demonstrated real compromise on the elements of a Green Climate Fund tonight.  The new text has just been issued (5:30 pm Friday December 12th) and it lays out a process to bring forward the...continued

Cancun Climate Talks on last day of negotiations: establishing the Global Climate Fund

Posted December 10, 2010 by Heather Allen in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Solving Global Warming

Tags:
, , , , , , ,

Negotiators at the COP 16 Climate Talks in Cancun have been working furiously to refine the final package.    Now, as of noon on the final day of the two week meeting we are waiting for the newest version of the...continued

Early Morning Wake-up Call for Ministers from the Mexican Presidency at COP 16 Climate Talks

Posted December 8, 2010 by Heather Allen in Curbing Pollution, Moving Beyond Oil, Solving Global Warming

Tags:
, , , , , , ,

This morning I fought the desire to hit snooze because I needed to rush to catch not one but two buses to make it to this morning’s meeting at the COP-16 Climate Talks in Cancun.  And apparently everyone else woke-up...continued

Call Congress Now: Action needed for Clean Water

Posted December 6, 2010 by Heather Allen in Health and the Environment

Tags:
, , , , ,

Comments (1)

In the final weeks of the 2010 Congress there is hope for a new law that would significantly improve U.S. efforts to bring clean water to the World. See our newest analysis of the steps we need to take here...continued

Europe Demonstrates Commitment to Fast Start Climate Funds for Developing Countries

Posted December 1, 2010 by Heather Allen in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, Moving Beyond Oil, Solving Global Warming

Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

In the first few days here in Cancun at the Climate Talks, European nations announced a series of projects and funding streams designated to fulfill their Copenhagen Accord commitments to ‘fast start climate finance’ to aid developing countries in reducing emissions...continued

On World Toilet Day: New NRDC Report Calls for U.S. Action to Solve the Global Sanitation Crisis

Posted November 19, 2010 by Heather Allen in Health and the Environment

Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Today on World Toilet Day NRDC, along with CARE and WaterAid released a report calling for the U.S. Government to take the needed steps to solve the global water and sanitation crisis.   The impact of this crisis is far reaching.  Disease caused...continued

World Toilet Day is Pretty Funny: Except for People Dying from Lack of Access to Toilets

Posted November 17, 2010 by Heather Allen in Health and the Environment

Tags:
, , , , , , , , , ,

This Friday November 19th is World Toilet Day, a time to celebrate the Toilet! People around my office love that I get so excited about World Toilet Day, they smile or make an excellent toilet joke whenever I bring it...continued

World Water Week brings together the scientists, activists, creative thinkers and policy makers to save lives and improve water stewardship

Posted October 15, 2010 by Heather Allen in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Green Enterprise, Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

Tags:
, , , , , , , , , ,

Water has captured our imagination for centuries, but in recent decades it’s been taken for granted by people that have it and it has required too much from people who don’t.  The good news is that if we manage water...continued

About

Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

Feeds: Heather Allen’s blog

Feeds: Stay Plugged In