United Nations’ (UN) World Water Day is held on March 22 each year. Events are organized on or around this day to increase people’s awareness of water’s importance in environment, agriculture, health and trade. The annual 2014 World Water Day event generated a lot of buzz on the campus of the University of Waterloo and is a collaborative effort between the Water Institute, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Institute for Water Science, Laurier’s Cold Regions Research Centre and the Water Institute’s graduate student chapter – SWIGS. This partnership signified commitment to water research and recognizes the value of freshwater around the planet.
The event was a great opportunity for graduate and undergraduate job recruitment, and the Career Fair was successful at providing external partners the opportunity to recruit UW water research graduate students into their organizations.
In advance of WWD 2014, Water Institute External Partners were able to access an on-line resume database. Graduate students from the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University were asked to submit resumes which were then categorized according to discipline. The utilization of a resume database was a welcome addition to the Career Fair and enabled external partners to connect with potential employment candidates. Interview rooms were made available for meetings with students and a café was available for more informal conversations.
The United Nations has designated this year’s World Water Day theme as Water and Energy. It was in this context that graduate water research posters were presented and talks on water science, technology, and policy from local and global perspectives. The depth of local water research was highlighted and with many opportunities to network with water researchers and practitioners.
The event featured 17 exhibitors, 45 graduate posters, and more than 200 graduate, undergraduate, and faculty participants. Guest speakers, Monique Dube and Cecelia Brooks, provided new ideas and challenged us to think differently about water. These presentations generated significant discussion amongst attendees.