22 May 2009

Do I Need to Be an Economist to Be Useful?

SK asks:
I am a mediator with a non-profit management/ arts/real estate background and a heavy interest in water. I have no legal/policy training yet and only a few water classes at Cal. Mostly I am a water fan attempting to work my way toward water conflict resolution and trans-boundary issues.

So now I am curious if I need an economic degree as well or if you might recommend areas of study/people to talk to. It seems at whatever conference or colloquium I attend, the topics are naturally bias toward the backgrounds of law/policy/science and never the tween shall meet. So it seems I must learn enough of all three to facilitate that dialogue without becoming too bias myself in any one direction. (ie I’d prefer to learn water law outside law school if poss)

I am especially interested in power plant cooling and desal-wondering if just becoming an expert in one area of water might be possible with only minor hydrology?
Please give SK your thoughts on these questions.