Board and Staff

Ben Lord, Board Member

Ben Lord is a Research Environmental Engineer at RTI International, a nonprofit research institute based in North Carolina. He develops and applies watershed-scale hydrologic models to explore the interaction of freshwater and built systems in the face of climate change and other human-driven impacts, including land use change and demand management. He has a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Engineering from North Carolina State University; a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Davis; and is a registered Professional Engineer.

Ben grew up playing in the woods and streams of the Carolinas and is deeply passionate about ensuring robust natural systems for the future in a rapidly-changing world. When he's not thinking about water, Ben can be found playing music, exploring the Upstate via hiking or biking, or cooking food.


Q:  What is your favorite native plant?  

A:  That's a hard choice, but my favorite tree is the American Beech. It's one of the first plants I ever learned to identify. They always grow in cool spots -- usually near a creek or waterbody. They have gorgeous smooth bark and the younger ones hold on to their leaves through winter and are easy to spot on a cold hike. They're good trees!

Q:  What's your favorite thing about the Reedy River?

A:  I appreciate how it really punches above its weight. It's a relatively small river and watershed, with a long history of abuse. But now it's an integral component of our quality of life. The Falls are the definitive landmark of downtown and the river's path provided the footprint for the Swamp Rabbit Railway which then led to the Trail.

Q:  Do you have a hidden talent?

A:  I play the accordion. When I was in college at NC State I would occasionally busk in downtown Raleigh. The key is that you only need to be entertaining -- not necessarily good!


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