GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Have you ever thought about what you would do if you could not drink the water around you?
A study by the Joint Monitoring Programme found that there are still 2.2 billion people worldwide and 2 million in America who do not have access to safe drinking water. What some might think is as simple as turning on a faucet may not be that simple for others.
One of the people dedicated to ensuring programs around the base follow protocols to keep our environment healthy and our water drinkable is 17th Civil Engineer Squadron bio-environmentalist, Jarrett Louder.
Louder’s passion for the environment has led him to oversee programs pertaining to stormwater runoff, cultural resources, and the deer population on base.
From a young age, Louder was curious about how different aspects of the environment interacted.
“When I was young, I built a pond in my backyard,” Louder reminisced. “I wanted to figure out why fish could survive off plants. I wanted to know it all.”
Louder’s thirst for knowledge carried his passion for the environment through college, completing a bachelor's in natural resource management and a master’s in environmental toxicology.
“Jarrett’s brain never stops,” said the 17th CES environmental element chief, Terry James. “He’s always doing research and trying to uncover things. It’s a breath of fresh air to work with someone hungry for information.”
Hoping to pass on his knowledge with the help of the team around him, Louder aspires to bring back an outreach program that was postponed due to COVID-19. The program aims to engage and educate members on how the small things they do affect their surroundings.
Louder explained that finding a common interest is the best strategy for getting someone to see the part they play in the bigger picture. Finding the common thread can help convince someone to protect the environment for future generations.
“Keeping the environment healthy is a team effort,” said Louder. “It’s all connected, and even doing something a little bit better each day can impact everything greatly. It’s important to learn from our past and apply it, so our future is better than where it is now.”