Water Environment Federation (WEF) Student Chapter

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Hector R. Fuentes

The chapter was established in 1994. It has, since then, pursued its goals of studying, understanding, participating and contributing to the protection and enhancement of the local, regional and global water environment. Its prime focus has been on the unique water ecosystems of South Florida. Membership and leaders have continuously shown a high level of enthusiasm, professionalism, and achievement. As a result, the chapter has successfully brought recognition to our department, college and university, at the local, national and international levels.

Local activities have included field trips, fund-raising events, charities, barbecues, technical seminars, and participation in programs organized by the FIU Student Government Association (SGA). In 1996, SGA recognized the chapter for its outstanding performance in the environmental area. At the state level, members have sponsored their manatee “Tithonus” through donations to the Florida NGO Save the Manatee. The chapter has also sponsored the participation of an environmental design team in a statewide competition for the last five years. Teams of undergraduate and graduate students, coached by Professor Fuentes, advisor and instructor, have competed in this “real-world” contest. The Florida Water Environment Association annually sponsors this contest within the framework of the Florida Water Resources Conference. The 1997 team won second place among all participating universities and the 1998 and 1999 teams were state champions. The program has become a highly rewarding experience for all participants, which include Florida environmental private and professional sectors. Winning has brought scholarships, money, free memberships, trophies and great jobs to our students.

Each year groups of students have also attended the international WEFTEC conference, where they have lived the mingling of the worlds of engineering, professionalism and business. This conference has been held in Chicago and Orlando in the previous years. This year the chapter was represented by Yurfa L. Glenny, Marie K. Hall and Ian Saacs in New Orleans last October. At the international level, the chapter was featured in WEF Highlights, a monthly publication, in recognition of their pioneering and innovative web pages.

The officers and Dr. Fuentes, Faculty Advisor, invite all students, who have a particular appreciation and interest for the protection of our water environment, to join the chapter and continue the legacy of achievement.