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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

New Water Resources Club Looks to Build Membership

Dani+Whitaker+%28senior%2C+Geology%29%2C%26%23160%3BGeology+professor+Dr.+Horacio+Ferriz%2C+and%26%23160%3BFaye+Victoria+Soria+Limas+%28senior%2C+Geology%29%2C+shown+here+with+Phoebe+the+dog%2C+are+heading+up+the+new+Sustainable+Water+Resources+Club+at+Stan+State.%26%23160%3B
Kristin Platts

Dani Whitaker (senior, Geology), Geology professor Dr. Horacio Ferriz, and Faye Victoria Soria Limas (senior, Geology), shown here with Phoebe the dog, are heading up the new Sustainable Water Resources Club at Stan State. 

The Sustainable Water Resources Club at CSU Stanislaus is hoping to attract water minded students to join their ranks. One of the newest clubs on campus, the group has wasted no time looking for ways to become a successful student org.
Club adviser, Stan State Geology Professor, Dr. Horacio Ferriz, explained that one of the main reasons they wanted to start the club is because they see water as the resource of the 21st Century and one that students will be able to find jobs in.
“I see potential for employment and for satisfying careers in water,” Ferriz said.
Ferriz teaches two classes devoted to ground water issues. In his development and management of water resources class, students learn how the California water system was built and how it’s being used today. In his hydrogeology course, students learn how water moves through the ground and its relationship between geology and groundwater flow, the chemistry of groundwater, and the development of groundwater as a resource. He also teaches a class on oceanography. 
With the importance of water in mind, the group is eagerly awaiting approval of a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that could bring a share of $11.5 million to their efforts over the next decade, if awarded. The two-phase Engines of Innovation Program grant will help fund student research, internships, and other academic and career opportunities for students, which will be split with several other colleges and universities in California.
Ferriz added that the grant would help them promote the economic development of the San Joaquin Valley as a place to do important research that could help water users become more efficient.
“We believe that efficiency can be improved with science, with knowing exactly what it is that you’re doing, and with technology, technology that doesn’t exist yet,” he said.
Other efforts to strengthen the new club include trying to attract members who see the value of connecting with likeminded water enthusiasts, according to one of the club’s founders, Dani Whitaker (senior, Geology), who said the structure of the club is really unique.
“It isn’t just getting together and doing a clean-up or something, it’s like future stuff, how we can get involved, not just academically, but for the long term,” she said.
Club leaders would also like to establish annual service projects, like a Tuolumne River clean-up project. And Ferriz said he hopes club members will want to pursue creating a series of educational videos on the presence of nitrates in groundwater, which are toxic to pregnant women and infants, an issue he believes is important to the community, but one many don’t know about.
Membership to the Sustainable Water Resources Club is in no way limited to geology majors, rather, the goal is to show people that water issues should be important to everyone.
Faye Victoria Soria Limas (senior, Geology), the group’s event coordinator, said the club will provide a sense of community to Stan State students and give them a connection to the local water systems, which is vital for its future.
“If we have a sense of connection to it, then we’re more likely to preserve it,” Limas said.
Whittaker, who said water is always at the forefront of her mind, added that everyone who lives here has a stake in water, so we should all educate ourselves on it.
“I think it’s like the idea of people who choose to become ethical vegetarians just basically get back to the root of where their food comes from, it’s kind of the same thing with this club,” she explained, “get back to the roots of where your water comes from. Where does it go? What does the future look like? How much do we have?”
Ferriz would also like to use the club as a resource to identify and help students who want to go into teaching science and hopes to connect them with science teachers who can show them what modern science teaching looks like.
“I think that it’s very important that we have good, excited teachers going out there,” he said.
The Water Resources Club will meet the second Thursday of each month from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. in Naraghi Hall of Science N-112. The February 9 meeting will feature guest speaker Matt Beaman of Merced Irrigation District with Robert Granberg from the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority slated to speak at the March 9 meeting.

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New Water Resources Club Looks to Build Membership