California Project WET Coordinator
Brian works with a dedicated team of workshop facilitators to provide engaging, hands–on Project WET professional development trainings for educators who teach K-12 across California.
Brian coordinates supplies and support to assist facilitators in organizing workshops, writes the California Project WET newsletter to provide guidance for educators in using Project WET activities that engage students in current water issues and topics. He personally leads a number of workshops each year.
Brian joined the Water Education Foundation in 2004 after a 14-year career as a naturalist, lead teacher, intern coordinator and trail engineer at Whiskeytown Environmental School near Redding and YMCA Camp Campbell Outdoor Science School in Boulder Creek.
Brian graduated from Humboldt State University with bachelor’s degrees in forestry and social sciences. Brian holds California Professional Clear Credentials in multiple subjects, life sciences and social sciences.
How long have you been a WET coordinator? It was 11 years on July 6, 2015.
What’s your favorite thing about doing WET workshops? Getting to work with educators of all stripes and providing them with activities and knowledge they are usually very excited to put to immediate use with their students. I also love the integration of knowledge and disciplines that occurs in every activity.
Give a quote from a recent workshop. "Thank you for one of the most energetic and relevant workshops I have ever attended."
What is your favorite WET activity? I have to pick just one…? Guess I’ll have to go with ‘A Grave Mistake,’ as it has that classic middle school, ‘Soylent Green’ horror factor that makes kids and adults squeal when they find out the source of the arsenic. ‘Blue River’ is definitely hot on its heels as a favorite.
Can you share a funny story related to WET activities? The day a teacher yelled, ‘OH MY GOD ITS TRUE!’ as I was summarizing and fielding questions about the ‘A Grave Mistake.’ Of course I had to ask, ‘What’s true?’ and she replied, ‘Everything you’ve been saying about the dead bodies and the arsenic – There was a whole study done on it!’
Like a typical middle school student (she was an 8th grade teacher), she couldn’t believe the activity was portraying anything true – the whole dead body, arsenic in the drinking water was too unbelievable – so she used her cell phone to fact check me right then and there.
We all had a good laugh, then I asked her what fact check source she used – Wikipedia. To which I asked, ‘How do you know I didn’t change the wiki entry last night?’ The look on her face was priceless!
Tell us about a promotion, grant award, press, or other recognition you’ve received in the last few months. Nothing in the past few months. I did receive a personal Excellence in Environmental Education Award and California Project WET received a Distinguished Contributions Award for science education in Fall 2014.
Any life changes to share? Kids, marriage, new home, other? Too busy for any changes, but was able to get away for 2 weeks in Italy back in March.
Something we don’t know about you… I once yanked the tail of a ring-tailed cat – and didn’t get bit!
Other? This year (2015) marks the 20th anniversary of Project WET in California!
Interviewed June 2015