Madelyn Glickfeld is the director of the Water Resources Working Group, an interdisciplinary research program in UCLA’s Institute for the Environment and Sustainability. Before joining a Zócalo/UCLA panel discussion on water scarcity in California—Can We Engineer Our Way Out of the Drought?—she talked in the Zócalo green room about virginity being overhyped, camping, and treating nature with respect.
If you could own a pet that can’t be found in a pet store, what animal would it be?
I have an issue about pets in general, that people should let nature stay in nature. But if I had to choose, it would be a dolphin. I’d take it for walks near the ocean.
What’s one thing every person could do in their daily lives to protect the environment?
Treat nature with respect. Make nature part of their lives.
Which is a better place to camp, the beach or the mountains?
I do both. That’s the wonderful thing about living in L.A.; you can get to both within a day.
When’s the last time you sang in public?
It was traumatic. I was in junior high. Now my daughters always say to me, “Please don’t sing.” But I still love singing in the shower.
What’s the most overhyped virtue?
Virginity. That’s the first thing that came to my mind, at least.
What’s cooler, rollerblades or skateboards?
I’m of the roller-skating generation.
What object from your childhood do you wish you had put in a time capsule, so that you could rediscover it today?
Knowing me, it would have been a souvenir from Disneyland. Something related to Annette Funicello, from the Mickey Mouse Club.
What’s one trick you use to keep everyone in the UCLA Water Resources Group in conversation with each other?
There’s no trick. It’s like herding cats. That’s why there’s a group in the first place.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve done this week?
I’m working on a new article that’s very challenging. I’m trying to figure out something about how we can improve water technology in California.
If you could choose one actress to play you in a movie, who would it be?
Geraldine Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin’s daughter.