IOU Foundation has always considered environment conservation and its sustenance an issue of utmost priority. It gives us immense pleasure to introduce our new dual degree graduate Ryan Bouton.
Ryan is an avid advocate for wise water reform in the American West. He is widely respected amongst his peers in the water and environmental community for the work he has performed both professionally and academically. As a native of Colorado, Ryan grew up in the mountains and has always been attracted towards nature. This interest in the environment led him to pursue dual undergraduate degrees in Geography and History from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
With his education/background in environmental science and GIS, Ryan spent more than a decade working for the City of Colorado Springs in the Engineering Department for groups such as Stormwater and Asset Management. During his tenure, Ryan had the opportunity to map the City’s sub-surface infrastructure, investigate environmental crimes and enforce environmental law, became a member of the Local Emergency Planning Committee, worked on two wildfires (Waldo Canyon and Black Forest) and had the privilege to become the first person from the City of Colorado Springs to join the Attorney General’s State Environmental Crimes Task Force.
As part of his IOUF doctoral education, Ryan’s studies focused on water management in the Upper Arkansas Basin of Colorado, concentrating on the Voluntary Flow Management Program (VFMP). Unique in the world of water management, this Program benefits the local recreation economy while simultaneously ensuring downstream senior water right’s holders are not injured. However, because of Climate Change and myriad other threats, this Program’s long-term viability is threatened. Ryan’s research project identified the leading threats to the Program and subsequently developed multiple potential solutions to mitigate the long-term adverse impacts to Arkansas River flows and the VFMP.
IOUF and its partners Universidad Azteca and Central University of Nicaragua feel proud to welcome Ryan into an elite group of learners who are continuously working towards the betterment of society on a grassroot level.