Q&A with Earthwatch’s New Board Member, Kevin T. Bryan
Kevin T. Bryan is the founder and principal of Equnival Partners LLC, his latest venture in a distinguished career of leading collaborative efforts to create equitable environmental policy. Over the last twenty years, Kevin has worked to shape state, federal, and local policies by building and leading national coalition efforts, developing organizational strategy, and fostering collaboration within and between organizations.
Recently, Kevin has led the initial growth of the Next 100 Coalition, which secured a presidential directive from President Barack Obama to ensure that federal land management agencies address diversity, equity, and inclusion in the design of its programs, procedures, and policies. He has spearheaded the formation of a broad-based coalition to champion policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the US transportation sector. Kevin has also led discussions for the United States Climate Action Partnership, resulting in recommendations that influenced the 2009 American Clean Energy and Security Act. Through his current work, Kevin is working across a number of organizations to deepen the values of equity and diversity in the environmental community. .
I am very excited to welcome such a talented individual to the Earthwatch family,” said Scott Kania, Earthwatch CEO. “Kevin is a passionate environmentalist. His board experience, along with his organizational strategy skills and social equity experience will make him a highly valuable asset to our organization.
We spoke with Kevin who shared why he chose to work with Earthwatch and what he’s most excited about.
What do you think makes Earthwatch unique?
Today, our society seems so willing to disregard scientific inquiry that it is endangering our existence. Earthwatch shows how critical science is to maintaining and improving the quality of our everyday lives. Even more importantly, Earthwatch connects people to that science in a tangible way. It makes the scientific process real to everyday people. And when science becomes real to everyday people, we can rebuild the necessary trust between science and the broader society.
What inspired you to join Earthwatch's Board of Directors?
That focus on connecting society and science. Having worked on climate issues for over twenty years, I have seen the negative impacts on critical policy decisions, when segments of the society show such disdain for science. Earthwatch is building that connection between people and science.
I am also really interested in how we expand the perception of who conducts science. I’m energized by the idea that we can attract communities to partner with established scientists to examine local issues like air and water quality, to measure impacts from climate change, and to use that knowledge to develop solutions that we can use today in locales in the US and all over the world.
What organizational priorities would you like to focus on in the next year?
Obviously, we need to focus on organizational sustainability in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Re-establishing stability will be critical for most organizations in 2021.
That said, I’m really interested in building equity and justice central pillars in Earthwatch’s programs and activities. Earthwatch has already introduced its Ignite program, which engages high school students in Southern California in information gathering around critical environmental issues like local air quality. Let’s think about how we can expand that program. And let’s think about how we expand programs that are taking students to spots around the globe to develop actionable research on water quality, biodiversity, and climate change.
How will your previous experiences inform your approach to working with Earthwatch?
At this point, my career is focused on ensuring that equity and justice form central pillars in the environmental movement. I want to bring that passion and energy to the work of Earthwatch, helping to really engage a broader audience in scientific discovery and connecting that discovery to our everyday lives.