Shea Dunifon is the Education Coordinator for Pinellas County in Florida. In this episode, Shea says that municipalities can shift the paradigm in how they think about engaging the public, especially younger generations. She explains creating teaching materials to accommodate multiple grade levels as well as schools with varying levels of resources because accessibility is an important pillar in her values. Shea talks about creating more informed citizens and filling the water industry’s talent pipeline of the future.
Jaime Eichenberger is the President-elect of the Water Environment Federation and an Associate Vice President at HDR and Sarah Reeves is vice-chair of the WEF scholarship subcommittee and a Vice President at Brown and Caldwell. In this episode Jaime and Sarah discuss WEF’s new scholarships for water and wastewater operators pursuing education, and training and for individuals pursuing certification to enter the water sector. The scholarship will reimburse expenses up to $5,000 and is available to individuals seeking an entry level operator’s license or licensed operators seeking professional development in municipal and industrial treatment, reuse, collection and distribution, and stormwater. The scholarship application deadline is April 1. For more information and to apply, click here.
In this episode WEF staff provide a preview of WEFTEC Connect, the fully virtual event and online learning platform that offers attendees interactive education, an exhibitor showcase, and networking experiences. They explain how WEFTEC Connect is more than another webinar or virtual meeting – it is a dynamic, immersive learning amd networking experience, that takes the best of our in-person event, reshapes it for the virtual world, and delivers it all directly to attendees. WEFTEC Connect will be held October 5 to October 9 and more information is at www.weftec.org
Christina Willson is Assistant Regional Manager of Water at Horner and Shifrin and Jennifer Welsh is a Civil Engineer at the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District. In this episode Christina and Jennifer talk about the Collection Systems Digital Conference that opens June 2 and brings attendees a variety of content. They discuss how collection systems are part of the aging infrastructure challenge, the sector’s continued focus on inflow and infiltration, and the ways technology is changing collection systems.
Ifetayo Venner is Water Sustainability Leader and Wastewater Service Line Leader at Arcadis and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Water Environment Federation. In this episode Ifetayo explains how growing up in the Caribbean led her to work in water and how her varied educational experiences and degrees shaped her career. She talks about the reasons the water sector needs to increase its diversity, not just in gender and race, but also in skill sets, education, perspectives, and life background. Ifetayo discusses how students and young professionals should seek out a variety of experiences to discover the direction that is best for them.
Lori Harrison is Director of Creative Projects and Jon Harrison is Art Director at the Water Environment Federation. In this episode Lori and Jon talk about Why Water’s Worth It, a fun and engaging children’s book featuring a little girl who guides readers through the world of clean water, how it’s managed, and the importance of everyone working together to protect it. They discuss the positive response to the book, how it can be used as a public outreach tool and STEM resource, and versions to be released in Spanish and French. Lori and Jon also explain what it was like to write and illustrate the book, with its rhyming text and more than 40 original, hand-drawn illustrations. The book can be ordered on WEF’s website, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.
Mohammad Abdulatif is superintendent for
the Dhahran Water Operations Division in Saudi Aramco and founder of the Saudi
Arabia Water Environment Association. In this episode, Mohammad discusses water
management in Saudi Arabia, including the extensive use of desalination,
requirements for reuse for industry, and prioritization of agricultural crops that
require less water. He talks about the challenges of growing water demand in an
arid country and how Saudi Vision 2030 features a focus on a sustainable water
sector, supported by government investment. Mohammad also explains efforts to
educate the public, including children, about water conservation.
Matt Streicher is the Treasurer and Liz Heise is the Marketing Chair for the Global Water Stewardship. In this episode, Matt and Liz discuss the Global Water Stewardship, a volunteer organization that is working in Costa Rica to address sanitation and environmental challenges that stem from decentralized treatment, inadequate septic systems, and a lack of advanced treatment. They explain how volunteers help design systems to treat wastewater and train local residents to serve as operators. Matt and Liz also talk about the organization’s work to educate local people in Costa Rica about the issues, which includes paying a sewer bill. Donations to Global Water Stewardship help in these efforts.
Dinesh Kumar is the India Market Manager for TrojanUV and Wayne Lem is the Municipal Market Manager for TrojanUV. In this episode, Dinesh discusses the importance of the Ganges River to the people of India and the major effort underway to reduce pollution in the river, which includes new wastewater discharge standards. Wayne explains the role of TrojanUV in raising public awareness about disinfection and the construction of treatment plants in communities along the Ganges.
WEFTEC, the Water Environment Federation’s Technical Exhibition and Conference, is the largest annual water quality event in the world. This year it will be held September 29 to October 3 in New Orleans. In this episode, WEF staff provide a preview of WEFTEC, including highlights of the conference program, the new additions to the exhibit floor, what to expect at the opening session, and how to use the app to navigate the event.
Sidney Innerebner is the Owner of Indigo Water Group and Author of Wastewater Treatment Fundamentals. In this episode, Sidney discusses how the new Wastewater Treatment Fundamentals provide a one-stop shop for operators to gain the information needed to do their jobs. She talks about how the book features an array of pictures, graphics, terminology, and practice questions for certification exams. Sidney also explains how the book represents the highest standard of what is known about wastewater treatment.
Darryl Haddock is the Education Director for the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance and the Federal Urban Waters Ambassador for Proctor Creek. In this episode, Darryl explains how a community struggling with environmental justice issues came together to advocate for more desirable wastewater and stormwater solutions. He also talks about the many benefits of reinvesting in urban waterways and the neighborhoods around them, as well as how residents in these areas can provide meaningful input into projects.
Manon Fisher is a resource recovery specialist with the San Francisco Public Utility Commission. In this episode, Manon discusses the role of biosolids in addressing climate change — including through carbon sequestration – and in building environmental literacy in a community. She also talks about the path ahead for SFPUC to transition to the highest class of biosolids.
The National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) is a new jobs program that provides training and certification in the field of green infrastructure. NGICP establishes national requirements for working on green infrastructure projects, promotes a skilled green workforce, streamlines the process of connecting qualified talent to in-demand jobs, and supports community-based job creation in U.S. cities. This episode features conversations with several people involved with NGICP including program director Adriana Calderelli.
Ingrid Bella is chair of BAYWORK, a consortium of San Francisco Bay Area water utilities working together to ensure a reliable workforce. In this episode, Ingrid discusses the origins of BAYWORK, its focus on showcasing water sector jobs to students and educators, and the many resources available to help utilities address workforce challenges.
Dustin Price is Maintenance Manager at the Portland Water District and a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Brandi Madden is a Service Technician at WhiteWater Inc. and a Water Purification Specialist with the Massachusetts National Guard. In this episode, Dustin and Brandi discuss the value that military veterans bring to any workforce and water sector jobs in particular, and share their stories of moving from the military to water jobs. Dustin also talks about Water Warriors, a new effort underway in New England to help veterans transition into water careers.
Fredi Lajvardi is a nationally recognized STEM educator and subject of the critically acclaimed documentary Underwater Dreams and major motion picture Spare Parts, as well as the IMAX film Dream Big. In this episode, Fredi tells how he led his team of disadvantaged teenagers in an underwater robotics competition, where they defeated leading schools, including top-ranked MIT. He talks about building students’ interest in STEM careers and the changes needed in the education system.