Austin comes from a background in earth sciences with a B.S. and M.S. in geology. In his current role as a Conservation Associate for the Idaho Conservation League, he advocates for development of public policies that are protective of human health and the environment as well as provide access to open spaces. While he relies heavily on his scientific background when promoting smart, safe, and feasible policies, he also strives to connect people to places as a means to foster a desire to protect and preserve Idaho’s environment. Once people get out and recreate in Idaho’s rivers and open spaces, they become some of the strongest advocates for clean air, clean water, and access to public land. His goal is to turn recreational enjoyment into a passion for policy development, as the two so often go hand-in-hand.
“One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is explaining to peers that you don’t have to be perfect or experienced to be successful. What truly matters is that they care. As long as they care, the rest will come. Alleviating the pressure of being perfect is a major relief to a lot of people, and has a lasting effect in their continual involvement on conservation issues.”
Austin is a member of the 2017 Emerging Leaders Program.