Ecosystem Risk and Resiliency
Nalini Rao is Senior Technical Leader at the Electric Power Research Institute.
EPRI's webinar on their wildfire projects stirred our interest. Mitigating the risk of wildfires is such an important topic for our industry. And apparently it's all hands on deck to identify and field technologies and strategies that can make a difference. So the PUF team sat down with one of the lead researchers at EPRI to learn about the most promising paths of its research.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: EPRI just did this very interesting webinar with other experts, including from Southern California Edison, about this wildfire problem. Can you tell us a little about how you fit in and your expertise?
EPRI's Nalini Rao: My background is in environmental science. At EPRI, I run a program called Ecosystem Risk and Resiliency. We look at natural resources, tools, and technologies, and applications and benchmarking, in the areas of ecological risk, climate adaptation and water availability. One of our new focus areas is Climate Impacts.
This includes research on wildfires, which is an ecological risk problem, a climate adaptation problem, and a question about water availability in that it is exacerbated by drought and arid conditions. That is why wildfires, in terms of environmental mitigation, is a critical area that my program investigates.
PUF: Why is this field very important?