Doctor Chad Nelsen
Last Friday Surfrider's very own Chad Nelsen was awarded a Doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA.
As you can see... he has the pipe, smart glasses and lab coat to prove it.
What you may not have seen is Chad standing up at last weeks California Coastal Commission hearing and making a few suggestions regarding how to figure out the economic value of the lost beaches due to rampant seawall construction. He was the right person to be making those suggestions since he's been studying related issues leading up to last Friday's dissertation defense.
What I loved about that moment in front of the Coastal Commission was that in a few ways it summed up who Chad is. He was there at the side of our local chapter and rockstar activists... and he was adding value to the dialog at the center of the debate about the seawalls in question.
That is "if seawalls were built on public land and they benefit a few private citizens, how much should those private citizens be paying to compensate the public?" That's not an easy question from any direction you approach it and Chad is one of the few people, one of the few experts, that can systematically take it on.
I also loved that moment because it was just a few days before he was defending his dissertation.
I also loved the moment because Chad was then, and in the picture above, embodying the essence of our mission.
Chad IS protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches.
We're stoked for ya Chadrock. From all of us who are aligned on coastal protection efforts everywhere... congratulations.