Chris Williams the former Highly Qualified Professionals (HQP) Coordinator reflects on his 4+ years working with the forWater Network.
As many of you may know by now, I am (sadly) leaving my role as the HQP coordinator with the forWater Network. I have accepted a position as the Regional Aquatic Specialist for the BC Public Service in the Kootenay Boundary Region. While I am excited for the new opportunity a little closer to my home in the Okanagan, it is tough to know I will no longer have as much interaction with the forWater community.
I will especially miss working with the bright group of students who have come through the Network, some of whom I have not even had a chance to meet in person. However, I am very grateful we were able to get together for a couple of in-person ST3 weeks before the pandemic.
If the last couple of years have taught me anything, it is that there is no adequate analogue for face-to-face interaction. While there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the connections between forest management, disturbance and drinking water treatability, the best part about my experience with forWater, to me, is the opportunity to meet new people doing similar water-related things across the country. That said, I’d like to encourage the students (HQP) to get involved with the student committee and network with those around you at ST3 week, whether it is with other students, researchers, partners or stakeholders.
The forWater Network presents a truly unique opportunity for students - you never know when you will have an interaction that leaves such an impression that you will remember it for years, even if it seemed unimportant at the time. I would very much like to see many of you on Vancouver Island this August but, if not, then I hope we meet again further on down the line!
The Network provides insights into new scientific research for safe, secure drinking water---globally---which starts with resilient forests