Working With Water, Working With People
To make a difference concerning the issues surrounding water quality and quantity in our communities, we must understand the various ways in which we interact with water. As Floridians, we are connected to our oceans and bays by our faucets and laundries, to our neighborhood ponds and lakes by our yards and streets, and to our regional and statewide neighbors by our surface and groundwater supplies.
This program will use expert presentations, online explorations, experiential learning, field experience in watershed science, and communication skills training to foster a greater understanding of these interactions and provide the tools necessary to become stewards of our water resources.
During this seven-session course, participants will travel to locations across Pinellas County to explore the natural beauty, learn about emerging water issues, and meet with local experts.
Participants will also plan and implement an individual (or group) stewardship project that makes a difference in the community, attend a relevant stakeholder meeting and explore online resources to learn more about water between class sessions.
Each class session will be three hours long and include Working with Water instructor-led presentations looking at water at the state-level as well as Working with People instructor-led presentations highlighting communication best-practices. Classes will also include time for discussions, guest speaker presentations highlighting local water resources, and a field tour.
This course has limited seating/availability. Register early to reserve your spot. Youth (under 18) are eligible to register as long as an accompanying adult is also registered for the program.
Session 1 – Wednesday, Aug. 9 (9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)*:
- Watershed Basics and Stewardship @ Brooker Creek Preserve in Tarpon Springs with guest speaker Robert Burnes, Project Manager, Pinellas County Public Works, Environmental Management
Session 2 – Wednesday, Aug. 23 (9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)*:
- Water Flow, Then and Now @ Clam Bayou Marine Education Center with guest speaker Jaime A. Swindasz, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Staff Environmental Scientist, Surface Water Improvement & Management Program
Session 3 – Wednesday, Sept. 6 (9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)*:
- Water Laws and Other Tools @ South Cross Bayou Advanced Water Reclamation Facility with guest speaker Shea Dunifon, Education Coordinator, Pinellas County Utilities
Session 4 – Wednesday, Sept. 20 (9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)*:
- Future Water Supply and Emerging Issues @ Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant in Oldsmar with guest speaker Tirusew Asefa, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Manager, Planning & System Decision Support, Tampa Bay Water
Session 5 – Wednesday, Oct. 4 (9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)*: Panel
- Panel Discussion with local environmental non-profit groups and Stewardship Project Updates @ SPC STEM Campus
Session 6 – Wednesday, Oct. 11 (9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)*:
- Speaking of and for Water @ Ozona Village Hall with guest speaker Rebecca Burton, Communications Manager, UF Thompson Earth Systems Institute
Session 7- Wednesday, Oct. 18 (9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)*:
- Graduation and Water Stewardship In Action @ Weedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg with guest speaker Doris Heitzmann, Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program Manager, UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County.
*Locations and speakers are subject to change.
Before You Register
Please review course requirements should you wish to receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program:
- Attend at least five of the seven sessions, two of which MUST be the first and last ones (Session #1 and Session #7)
- Attend and briefly describe a stakeholder gathering
- Complete online mini-sessions
- Participate in the online discussions
- Submit a summary of your individual or group stewardship project
If the cost of the program will prevent you from participating, please complete a scholarship application. Application deadline is Wednesday, July 23rd.
For more information about this course, please contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County Natural Resources Agent, Lara Milligan at email@example.com or 727-453-6905.