ConversationA management program: Narrator: Listen to a conversation between a student and a professor. Professor: So Amy, the department has received a grant to develop a management program in the local community and part of the program is to hire undergraduates. And well, environmental studies majors are our first choice. Sound interesting? Amy: Sounds great, actually! And the timing is perfect. I just told the people at my current job that I would be quitting next week. I've been delivering pizza part time. Professor: I think you'll find this more interesting than delivering pizza. Amy: Actually, delivering pizza is kind of interesting. You meet all kinds of people. Professor: I knew there was a reason I thought of you for this program. Amy: What do you mean? Professor: What you just said. Sounds like you're comfortable working with people, with the public. Amy: I guess. Professor: That's a skill you'll need because this job is mostly about people. Amy: Okay. Professor: The whole point of the program is to educate the local community about the importance of protecting the water shed. You remember our discussion about water sheds in class? Amy: Yeah, of course. How all the water that collects in an area will eventually flow into the same body of water downstream. Professor: Yeah, you got it. That's the water shed. Amy: And when you talk about how it all it takes is one contaminated stream in a water shed to affect the water quality downstream. Professor: Exactly. But other than industry pollution from factories and so on, a major concern is runoff pollution from communities, residential neighborhoods. Amy: Runoff. Okay, rainwater that doesn't soak into the ground. I remember you talked about fertilizers and stuff people use on their lawns and gardens. Professor: Exactly, chemical fertilizers and pesticides and other pollutants that result from everyday activity. They all get washed into streams with the rainwater. Did you know that rainwater eventually picks up the oil on roads and parking lots? And often that oil goes straight into a river or lake. Amy: It sounds like a big problem. Professor: It is. That's why we're hoping you might be willing to spread the word, especially about those chemical fertilizers and pesticides. People tend to overuse them, so we really want them to understand the consequences. Amy: Okay. So would it be like going door-to-door, handing out brochures? Professor: Yeah, brochures but mainly, talking to people. People need to understand how important it is to protect the water shed and we want to show them how to do that, like teach alternative gardening techniques, explain how to use less fertilizers, or less harmful types of fertilizers and pesticides. That's the education part. Amy: So is there more? Professor: That's the bulk of the job. But I know you've collected water samples from my class. Before we even get started, we need to examine the quality of the local stream to determine just how contaminated they are. So you'll get some more practical experience, too in the lab and we'll continue to monitor the creek to measure how the quality of the water improves over time. It's a long-term project.