Laura De La Guardia knew before she was a teenager that she would one day work to fight climate change. Laura works with the Illinois State Water Survey to find solutions to enhance efficient water use.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was 12 years old, I knew I wanted to study something related to sustainability. I was hoping to do something that prevents the consequences of climate change in my country. When I grew up, I wanted to open a company that provides sustainable solutions for construction and infrastructure.
What drew you to your current field of study?
In 2015, I studied English as a second language in Phoenix, AZ. I arrived in July to the Sun Valley coming from a Caribbean country where the precipitation is 3000 mm/year. It triggered a growing curiosity for understanding how such a big city could manage water in the middle of the desert. As a result of my eight months living there, my perception of water changed completely. I decided to pursue my graduate studies on water resources engineering, aiming to improve water management.
What do you love about your work at PRI?
I love having the opportunity to apply what I'm learning in my studies. But most importantly, I love the fact that my work can directly contribute to optimizing water management in Illinois.
How will your work impact future generations?
I hope to set the bases to understand the energy and water regulation policies, their impact on water availability in Illinois, and find solutions to enhance efficient water use.