November 17, 2014 | Water in the West | Insights
Water in the West postdoctoral fellow Debra Perrone recently participated in the Science Teaching Through Art (STAr) program, which helps scientists and engineers become more effective communicators to people outside their own fields. The program includes outreach to local high school and community college students through poster sessions, which is an excellent opportunity both for researchers to practice the art of communicating to a general audience, and for students to learn more about STEM disciplines as they consider their educational and career paths.
Debra's poster on groundwater, surface water, and drought is particularly relevant to California's water situation today. She illustrates the relationship between groundwater and surface water using the analogy of checking and savings accounts, something that most students are familiar with, and highlights the importance of water storage as a key tool, particularly in droughts. The cost of different water storage options, based on recent research by Water in the West, are compared. About fifty students attended at Cañada College in Redwood City, CA. Increasing public understanding and support of water, particularly groundwater, which is out of sight, is going to be critical moving into the future as more conflicts arise due to increasing water demand and decreasing water supply around the state, throughout the West, and worldwide.