2016 Annual AWRA Water Resources Conference
Networking Events

Monday / November 14

Cynthia Barnett


A Literary Lunch with water author Cynthia Barnett
Rain: A History for Stormy Times
12:00 Noon - 1:30 PM

Grab lunch and join journalist and author Cynthia Barnett for an engaging natural and cultural tour of RAIN, from how it helped shape civilization, religion and art, to the peculiar history of cloud seeding in America, to the poetry and perfume of rain - all building to the uncharted rains of climate change. After a talk about her new book Rain: A Natural and Cultural History, long-listed for the National Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing, Cynthia will take your questions about the book industry, environmental communications, the state of journalism and anything else you'd like to ask. Join us for a literary lunch, followed by a book sale and signing.

Student Attendee Conference Orientation
4:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Led by Michael Campana
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Past President, American Water Resources Association

Open to students and other first-time professional conference attendees, the goal is to show how to "design" their own conference experience. You will learn proper networking techniques that will offer the opportunity to experience all that the AWRA national conference has to offer. Additionally, each session attendee will be asked to spend a moment or two and describe what expectations each has from the conference and the moderator will assist in realizing these expectations. There is no charge for this orientation.

Student Networking Event
4:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Led by Student Activities Committee

This social event will offer an opportunity for students of different levels (undergraduate and graduate) and different academic institutions to become acquainted with each other, mingle, and share their ideas and expectations about the conference and their careers in a comfortable atmosphere.

Conference Opening Networking Reception
5:00 PM to 6:30 PM

This event is included in the Registration Fee. All registered conference participants are invited to attend the Opening Networking Reception. Come greet old colleagues and make new friends. The Poster Session participants will be at their posters to answer any questions during the reception.

Additional tickets may be purchased on site at the AWRA Registration Desk. The cost of an additional ticket is $30.00.

Tuesday / November 15

AWRA 5K Fun Run / Walk Fundraiser for the AWRA Richard A. Herbert Scholarship
led by Michael DelCharco
6:30 AM - 8:00 AM

A donation of $20 is requested to help support the RAH Scholarship fund

All registered participants are welcome to join us for a fun, casual, and entertaining 5K run/walk. This running/walking tour will take a local spin around the neighborhood. Distance will be approximately 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). (Donations will be accepted for the AWRA Richard A. Herbert Scholarship Fund.) The Run/walk will start at The Florida Hotel and Conference Center lobby near the registration area. Please be ready to go by 6:30 AM.

Please register for this event on the conference registration website or find Michael DelCharco on Monday. If you have already registered for the conference and would like to sign-up for the Fun Run, go to the registration website and sign-up for just the Fun Run.

Scavenger Hunt Networking - Disney Spring, Walt Disney World
Sponsored by AWRA Florida State Section
5:30 to 9:30 pm

Food, drinks, al fresco networking and scavenger hunt
Cost: $35 (by Oct. 24); $40 (after Oct. 24)

Join us for a fun, informative and interactive scavenger hunt networking event at Disney Springs - recently transformed and expanded from its previous days as Downtown Disney. Our home base will be the floating dock of The Boathouse - complete with retro dream boats, from vintage American Amphicars to romantic Italian Water Taxies.

This will be a great opportunity to re-connect with old friends and colleagues, meet new ones and enjoy central Florida's beautiful November weather.

The Scavenger Hunt is a walking event but you can also choose to stay at The Boathouse and network, eat, drink and relax. Form your own scavenger hunt team or we can help form one for you. Prizes will be awarded to the winning team(s).

This event is sponsored by AWRA Florida and is not included in the conference registration fee. The event fee includes transportation to and from Disney Springs from the conference hotel, heavy appetizers and 1 free drink.

The cost is $35. Please register for this event at the following website: http://www.awraflorida.org/event-2249748.

Wednesday / November 16

AWRA Awards Luncheon

12:00 Noon - 1:15 PM

This event is included in the Registration Fee. All Conference participants are invited to attend. Additional tickets for accompanying guests may be purchased on site at the AWRA Registration Desk. The cost of an additional ticket is $40.00.

Special Student Session Panel:
Learning How to Maximize Success
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Moderators -
Roger Copp, A.D.A. Engineering, Inc., Tampa, FL

Job Strategy Now: Learning How to Maximize Success

Often, students are so focused on achieving a high GPA that they overlook the importance of planning for transition to the post academic world. Abundant opportunities and resources should be utilized and leveraged by students to develop themselves as professionals, as well as maximizing the potential for securing a good job. Learning how to manage and leverage the use of these resources is fundamental in developing an effective job strategy.

Important elements in job strategy are: 1) demonstrating leadership capabilities; 2) networking through your peers, universities, committees, and industry, and; 3) understanding the job search process, employer, and hiring protocols. In regards to leadership, students can identify opportunities to demonstrate leadership skills even in small roles. Understanding how to identify the opportunities as well as what employers look for in regard to leadership is sometimes difficult. Leadership and understanding your strengths is key to developing a job strategy and increasing your exposure. As for networking, it is an art and a science. You have most likely heard that you have to build your network to find a job or jumpstart your career. Many people talk about the importance of networking, but few talk about how to actually do it. Conferences and meetings such as the 2016 AWRA Annual Conference provide many opportunities to network, but making the most out of these opportunities can sometimes be challenging. The last element is understanding the job search process, employer, and hiring protocols. This element is integral to putting students in the best position to get the job they want. There are many different methodologies to obtaining a job, as well as many different types of employers. Doing your "homework" will set you up for success.

This professional development session will provide students with an introduction into developing a successful job strategy, with special emphasis on how to highlight leadership skills, how to network and communicate effectively, and an introduction in what employers look for when hiring. It will provide practical and tangible tips, techniques to craft your "elevator pitch", concepts that you can utilize to showcase yourself within your resume and interview, and strategies to meet the challenges of networking and ensure your success. This session will be presented by a panel of specialized speakers comprised by human resources professionals from both the consulting and academic industries. Students will be provided the opportunity to ask questions and receive coaching on strategies, the various opportunities, and risks that students should be aware of as they embark on the job search.

Student Career Night:
Panel of Professionals Discussion and Speed Networking
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Please contact Suzanne Mechler by Nov. 4 to sign up for this event.

Moderator: Suzanne Mechler, CDM Smith, Boca Raton, FL

Kelly Kibler, Assistant Professor, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
Bruce Williams, Principal Environmental Scientist, GeoEngineers, Spokane, WA
Duane De Freese, Executive Director, Indian River Lagoon Council & Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, Sebastian, FL
Celeste Journey, Water Quality Specialist, U.S. Geological Survey Columbia, SC
Valerie Seidel, President and Principal Economist, The Balmoral Group, Winter Park, FL
Josefin Hirst, Engineer, Associate at Hazen and Sawyer, Tampa, FL

This session will be an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to explore water -related careers. Student will learn about experiences and opportunities that are available in various water resources vocations and will learn how water, as a career, is evolving. The session will be presented in two parts. First, a panel of professionals will discuss the substance of what they do and describe their work environment. Following the panel discussion, students will have the opportunity to formulate questions to the panel in an open-mic fashion. Finally, following the Q & A open-mic allotted time, students will have the opportunity to meet and network with professionals from various water resources disciplines in a 30-minute closing social networking session. Students are encouraged to bring their resumes. Food and beverage will be provided at this event.

Networking Opportunities held throughout the Conference


AWRA Conversation Corner
Open throughout the conference and free of charge to everyone!

The American Water Resources Association's mission is to foster communication across all disciplines involved in the water resources community thereby creating lasting connections which will help forge solutions to our nation's ever increasing water resources challenges. AWRA along will set aside a space - "Conversation Corner" - to engage your colleagues in meaningful dialogues. Internet connections will also be available to check email.

AWRA Employment Opportunity Board
Open throughout the conference and free of charge to everyone!

  • Is there an opening at your place of employment? You can place an announcement on the Board.
  • Are you currently seeking a new job? You can put a copy of your resume on the Board and have some for distribution.



Conference Sponsors