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Gary Burlingame’s New Book: Earthy, with a Hint of Cucumber “An environmental scientist takes a journey into the sensory world of water”

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Philadelphia Water’s Gary Burlingame has a new book: Earthy, with a Hint of Cucumber “An environmental scientist takes a journey into the sensory world of water”

Are you in this line of work because it pays great? Likely not! So why stick with it? And how would you explain your decisions to a high school or college graduate to convince them that a career in water, like yours, has great value?

I have been fortunate to participate on AWWA and Water Research Foundation committees where I have met experts, young and old, from around the world. More often at lunch or dinner, rather than in technical presentations, I have heard their inspiring stories. As engineers and scientists, we are quite good at writing research papers, standards, operating procedures, and manuals. But our stories don’t get out. Yet our stories describe the heart and soul of our profession.

So I decided to write a book. A book that could be handed out to high school and college graduates to show them that a career in water can be exciting and rewarding. It’s a memoir-style book, which is something different than we are used to reading at work. I titled it Earthy, with a Hint of Cucumber. The sub-title is: An environmental scientist takes a journey into the sensory world of water. What’s that about? Get a copy of my book and find out. Every book purchased through AWWA (look for the ads in 2016) will help support The Water Equation and AWWA’s scholarship funds.

I am hoping that others in our great profession will follow my lead and write their own books. But maybe writing a book is not your way of telling your story. That’s fine. Take a young person to lunch. Volunteer for career day at school. Support AWWA’s Young Professionals. There are various ways to share your story with someone who might not know that a career in water is valuable.

The global issues around securing safe and sustainable water will only grow in importance into the future. And our profession is critical to that future. It’s time to share our stories with the young people around us so that they take up where we leave off – in keeping our waters safe and healthy for all of life on this precious planet Earth.

Special Note: PA-AWWA would like to thank Gary Burlingame for his support of PA-AWWA and for volunteering to provide high quality operator training in Pennsylvania over the years . 

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