Policy Research Shop Testimony: April 23, 2015

PRS Students Present Aquaculture findings to New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

On Thursday, April 23, 2015, Policy Research Shop students, Michael Baicker ’17 and Ke Zhao ’17, traveled to Concord to present their findings to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES). Baicker and Zhao, along with teammate Mary Katherine Andrews, have spent the past six months completing research on aquaculture policy for the Wetlands Bureau of the NH Department of Environmental Services. Their policy brief, “Developing New Hampshire Aquaculture Regulation: A Comparative Case Study of Eastern Coastal States,” was presented by Baicker and Zhao to Tom Burack ’82, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Services, Dori Wiggin, the regional supervisor of the DES Wetlands Bureau (responsible for promulgating the new Aquaculture rules), and three of her staff members.

The students spent 20 minutes making their PowerPoint presentation and then fielded questions for an additional 45 minutes. The Q&A portion of the meeting was very much a conversation among peers as the Commissioner and the Wetlands Bureau staffers were asking questions of the students as subject matter specialists. The dynamic in our testimonies before executive agencies is quite different from that found in legislative committee testimonies in that there are no comparable time constraints found in committee presentations and that the audience is far more aware of the details of the policy issue. As a result, the students were probed on the nuances in policy implementation in other states, for example. Baicker and Zhao did an excellent job in responding to the comments and questions from the Wetlands Bureau staffers and from the Commissioner.