Aquatic Connectivity Team Wins Best Public Policy Design at Capstone Expo

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On Tuesday, April 24, two Public Policy Student teams competed in the Georgia Tech’s 2018 spring Capstone Design Expo. The award for the Best Public Policy project went to the Aquatic Connectivity Team of Charles Lucas, Victoria Inman, Victoria Doris, and Sarah Saltiel, all senior public policy majors.

The team was rewarded for their “Liberating a Dammed & Culverted Georgia” project that addresses the best practices and regulations on dam and culvert removal. The goal of the project is to prevent water contamination, damage to aquatic wildlife, and improve aquatic connectivity in the state of Georgia. “Georgia is home to thousands of dams and culverts. These structures present a growing concern about the disruption to waterways. These structures lead to water contamination, damage aquatic wildlife, and suppress the growth of various species and can threaten community safety when they fail. This study has conducted research concerning dam and culvert removal and have produced a six-state comparison, dam removal case study, and regulation database. This study has identified the best practices, permitting processes, and regulations surrounding dam and culvert removal in the state of Georgia through these deliverables. The results of the study will ultimately provide The Nature Conservancy with the best practices and regulatory understanding needed to begin working toward dam removal and culvert restoration, with the goal of improving aquatic connectivity in Georgia.” The team was advised by Public Policy Associate Professor Kimberly Isett and Professor Diana Hicks.

The 2018 expo showcased the work of 226 teams from a dozen Georgia Tech schools in three colleges. The Capstone represents the culmination of months of work for the seniors that participated. Undergraduates from senior design courses worked with real-world, open-ended, interdisciplinary challenges proposed by industrial and research project sponsors. The teams presented their work to industry representatives, faculty, staff, and students, who judged best project awards.

The other Public Policy team, Atlanta Solar Strategy, worked on developing a rooftop solar siting strategy for the Nature Conversancy of Georgia. The team created a database of all roofs within the Atlanta Perimeter that would be good candidates for rooftop solar systems, and conducted interviews about the motivators and barriers to solar installation in Atlanta. The team was advised by Professor Diana Hicks.

Congratulations to both teams for representing Public Policy and Ivan Allen Allen College of Liberal Arts at the Capstone Expo!


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