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Haley Paul is the Policy Director for Audubon Southwest. In this role, she distills complex natural resource policy and water management issues—via blogs, webinars, infographics, and more—to demonstrate why water policy is important and how it impacts people and birds. Alongside a powerful network of Audubon advocates, Haley seeks to influence water policy outcomes in Arizona and in the Colorado River Basin, pushing them to be more inclusive of environmental needs and the needs of those historically excluded from water management decision-making.
As an Anthropology major in her undergraduate studies at Washington State University, Haley took a keen interest in better understanding how humans around the world and through time have organized themselves to sustain (or not) the natural resources on which they rely. While working on the student-run organic farm in Pullman, Washington, Haley gained a greater appreciation for agriculture and all that it takes to grow and harvest healthy, nourishing food. This led her to a graduate degree in Sustainability from Arizona State University where she examined the 1980 Groundwater Management Act and its impact on agriculture in central Arizona.
Haley believes we must tell the truth if we are going to improve our water management systems for people and birds—and that starts with an understanding of how we got to where we are, and why we need to fix things. The continued inequities we see, even just within the state of Arizona—where not all of the state’s residents have access to clean and reliable drinking water—should make headlines in the same way the shortage declarations on the Colorado River do. It is Haley’s hope that Audubon can be a positive contributor in the evolution of our water management systems so that they are more just, equitable, and inclusive. Climate change is giving us no other choice but to innovate and adapt.
While no bird identification expert, Haley’s passion for birds is evidenced by her two bird feeders, her desire to identify new birds in her Sibley’s guide, and her overall appreciation of the diversity and color birds bring to our world.