Research Analyst, Environmental Defense Fund
Virginia is a Research Analyst on the natural gas campaign at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). She conducts regulatory and data analysis on a wide range of environmental topics pertaining to oil and gas development including: water quality, water consumption & use, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and chemical disclosure.
Virginia recently helped to develop a workshop called "Neighbors of Oil and Gas" with a Laredo, TX-based environmental non-profit called the Rio Grande International Study Center. The bilingual workshops (presented in Spanish and English) aim to teach rural people living among oil and gas development in South Texas' Eagle Ford Shale how to report suspected health risks or contamination that could be related to oil and gas development.
Palacios is an active member of EDF's staff Diversity Committee, and helped to draft EDF's first-ever five-year Diversity Strategic Plan. Outside of work Virginia is an amateur organic gardener, a volunteer voter registrar, and a volunteer with Texas Parks & Wildlife's Master Naturalist program.
" I changed careers from aviation to environmental science and policy. The MEM program at the Nicholas School was the only graduate program I found that offered all the classes I felt I needed to be successful in an environmental career. Having access to my ideal combination of faculty and courses at the Nicholas School prepared me for an interdisciplinary role researching policies and environmental impacts related to oil and gas development. All the classes that I took at the Nicholas School have come into play in my current job, and I feel my time spent there was extremely valuable."