Fulbright grant funds trip to India for Spokane consultant
Fusion Environment owner will help create database at Bangalore Institute
Chey ScottAugust 12th, 2010
Adriane P. Borgias, a Spokane environmental consultant, has received a Fulbright-Nehru Scholarship to work in India for four months to assist that country in compiling a computerized database of environmental knowledge.
Borgias, owner of Spokane-based Fusion Environment & Energy LLC, says she has been working with a group there at the Bangalore Institute of Technology since 2006 to train students and professionals in areas such as hazardous-material management, the chemistry of materials, air and water quality, and emergency response to environmental disasters. Since then, she has traveled back to the country two other times to assist in compiling information on its environment for the curriculum at the Bangalore Institute, an engineering college, she says.
"It's based on U.S. regulations, but made specific to India," she says.
The work she has done there so far will be the basis for a compendium of information, including case studies and articles, that she will oversee, she says. Borgias says her main role there this fall will be editing submitted content and entering it into the database.
Borgias says India's current environmental situation is similar to the crisis the U.S. experienced in the 1960s and 1970s, but might be more severe because of India's dense population.
"We do a lot of business with India that is chemical based. We send chemicals to them, and they manufacture them for us. It's a mutual thing, and it's in our interest that what we do is responsible as well," she says.
Borgias applied for the scholarship last summer and was accepted to the Fulbright Scholar's Environmental Leadership program this past April. She will be traveling to India in November.
Borgias paid for her three previous trips out of her own pocket; they were never more than two weeks long, she says. She says the Fulbright-Nehru Scholarship will sponsor her stay fully this time.
Borgias says she is the only American working with the Bangalore Institute on the project and that the scholarship she received is funded equally by the U.S. and India.
She says she credits a Richland, Wash.based environmental scientist, Rampur S. Viswanath, for getting her started in her project with the Bangalore Institute, and adds he initially invited her to travel to India back in 2006.
Borgias's work here through her consulting business includes environmental dispute resolution. She says she has worked with clients such as the Buckhorn Community Advisory Association and the Kinross Gold Corp.'s Kettle River-Buckhorn mine near Republic, Wash., helping in the development of a good neighbor agreement between the two groups.