Monday, August 3, 2015

Anniversary Story: "Learning About AquiFIERS" by Brian Reetz

Learning About AquiFIERS
by Brian Reetz, former Groundwater Foundation Program Coordinator

It’s awesome to see The Groundwater Foundation celebrating such a historic anniversary. It shows the lasting impact that such an amazing organization can have on the local, national, and world scene. I was very fortunate to work for the Foundation for four years. I came into the Foundation with very little knowledge of groundwater and kept soaking it in (recharging, you might say), during the time I was there. I also knew there were a lot of experts in the area to lean on. 

A lot of my time with the Foundation was spent on the road with the Growing Groundwater in Nebraska program. I loved going into different communities across the state and talking about groundwater and how to keep it plentiful for future generations. I made a lot of lifelong friends because of this, who I’m still in contact with even though I’m now at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Glenn Korff School of Music.

In each of those communities there was usually an aspect where I worked with kids, the next generation so to speak. They were always so enthusiastic about learning more about water. We also worked with kids as part of the Outdoor Adventures in H2O Bright Lights camp in Lincoln, and it was here that I got to know Groundwater Foundation staff even more. Jennifer Wemhoff and Jamie Kelley were very kind to me when I started and we continue to have great relationships. They also knew how to keep me humble. During one day of the Outdoor Adventures camp, we did an activity where we made aquifers with ice cream – Edible Aquifers. Jamie and Jennifer thought it would be good for me to lead the activity. I thought, “Sure I’ll give it a whirl.”

Brian Reetz enjoys his Edible AquiFIER with students at 
the Outdoor Adventures in H2O Camp.
“Today, we are going to talk about AquiFIERS,” I said to the kids. My memory is that Jamie and Jennifer both looked at me in stunned silence, then smiled and laughed, and Jennifer said, “Don’t you mean aquiFERS?” “Oh yes, AquiFERS,” I said. AquiFIERS would be a running joke throughout the rest of my time at the Foundation and yet to today. As I said, they kept me humble. I think I rebounded quite quickly, but of course the kids were more consumed in making an ice cream treat that they could soon eat. As for me, it taught me to keep learning and reading about all I could about one of the world’s most important resources. 

During my time with the Foundation, I was proud to help develop the Water1der groundwater awareness app, currently out on the market in the Apple App Store. I think it’s a fun way to engage people in this tech savvy world and it’s been fun to see it continue to grow as well. 

I learned a lot about teamwork while working at the Foundation. Everyone pitched in all different areas to help push the mission forward and I’m so proud to always be a part of that, and can’t wait to see where the next years lead for such a fine organization. 


11 Weeks Until the 2015 Groundwater Foundation National Conference and 30th Anniversary Celebration!

30th Anniversary Story Teller Sponsor
Marshfield Utilities

30th Anniversary Story Teller Supporter
National Ground Water Association

No comments: