2024 Water Institute Symposium

TESI Environmental Leaders Fellowship

The 9th Water Institute Symposium partnered with the UF Thompson Earth Systems Institute and its Scientist in Every Florida School Environmental Leaders Fellowship. With funding from the Smallwood Foundation, this Fellowship brings together students from diverse majors and backgrounds and provides them with the knowledge, skills, confidence, and network to advocate for the planet as they take on leadership roles in their respective careers. 

“Conferences like the Water Institute Symposium give students the chance to look at issues through an interdisciplinary lens, which is one of the focuses of this Fellowship,” said Rebecca Burton, communications manager at TESI. “We are so thankful for this partnership that made it possible to give our students the chance to not only attend a professional conference, but also practice networking skills by interviewing participants.”

Many students don’t get the chance to attend a professional conference during their undergraduate career, and the chance to attend the Water Institute Symposium is one of the highlights of the Fellowship. At the Symposium the students were exposed to a wide range of environmental professionals and had the chance to practice their networking skills and hear about career pathways. 

This year, the Fellows approached conference attendees to gather insights about today’s water issues. These “Water Words of Wisdom” are being compiled into a blog post that will be soon shared through the Water Institute website and on social media. 

“When it comes to helping the care for our planet, it’s all hands on deck,” said Sadie Mills, program coordinator for TESI. “By meeting professionals from a variety of different backgrounds and disciplines, the Fellows were able to better see how their skill set can be used to tackle a wide variety of environmental issues.”