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Becki Riddle

IGC FELLOW    |   Global Change Center

Ph.D. Student  •  Planning, Governance & Globalization

Advisor : Dr. Todd Schenk

Research Interests: Water security, water policy and management, public education and engagement, science communication 

IGC Fellow

Becki graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Systems Engineering where her main focus was on environmental health and water quality. She then went on to obtain her Master’s of Engineering degree from the University of Virginia in Water and Environmental Engineering. A true Hokie at heart, Becki then decided to come back to Virginia Tech in the Planning, Governance, and Globalization Ph.D. program under the advisement of Dr. Todd Schenk.

Growing up in rural central Virginia and part of her local 4-H Adventure Club, Becki has had a strong connection to water from a very early age. Combined with her experiences from her undergraduate and graduate studies and other life experiences, her appreciation for the natural environment and those who use it has only grown. Unfortunately, many do not have safe water resources, something that many take for granted.

While an undergraduate, Becki was part of numerous labs from tracking the amount of elements in rocks to determine if a mass extinction occurred under Dr. Ben Gill to understanding how sediment deposits within riverine ecosystems under Dr. Jonathan Czuba. One of the most impactful research experiences she has had was working with Dr. Jeanie Purchase to understand the filtering of contaminants from water and how these filters can be used in at-risk areas or during times of need. Before Becki joined, her team went to Denmark, SC to speak to some of the residents of the community as well as take samples of their water. This aided their efforts by uncovering some of the hidden factors impacting the adoption of water filtration.

She now believes that education and effective communication between the science community, stakeholders, policymakers, and the public is one of the keys to allowing everyone to have access to water. Becki believes that the IGC community will aid her in combatting this highly interdisciplinary problem and looks forward to sharpening her communication skills with those both inside and outside her field of study.