Let’s Talk About Water . . . in California
University of California, Irvine October 23, 2009
Water and Film Event Attracts 200 Students at UC Irvine [visit the website]
The power of documentary films to motivate and to inspire is unquestioned and recently demonstrated by Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. The Earth Systems Science Department at UC Irvine recently sponsored a two-day event called “Let’s Talk About Water . . . in California” to inform undergraduates about water issues in their state and to highlight career options for students in the field of hydrology and water resources. Chinatown, a dramatic fictionalized account of water development in Los Angeles, was shown outside on campus on Friday night, and Flow: The Film, a recent documentary covering many topics in water policy, was shown on Saturday followed by a panel discussion featuring both local and national experts on water science and policy.
Over 200 students, including both undergraduate and high school students from an AP Environmental Science class, attended. Extra credit was offered to students in 5 different undergraduate courses in Earth System Science and Public Health.
- David Beckman, Water and Director Program, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
- Tim Brick, Chairman, Metropolitan Water District
- Gregory Heiertz, Planning and Water Resources Director, Irvine Ranch Water District
- William Marsh, Professor, University of British Columbia
- Jim Sedell, Director of Fish Conservation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
- Suzanne Stefanac, Director, American Film Institute Digital Content Lab
The event was successful in informing students about a large array of water issues and in helping focus on which of these issues were important in California. The panel discussion remained lively for over 2 hours, indicating a high degree of engagement.
CUAHSI is interested in helping other campuses replicate this event. For more information, contact Rick Hooper (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Linda Lilienfeld (Linda.email@example.com).