“It’s always fun to talk about the weather, streams, floods, droughts, and how we measure them,” said Harrison Forrester, SFPUC Hydrologist based in Moccasin.
For Forrester, his education in STEM and the work that he does everyday go hand-in-hand. Forrester works in the Water and Power Planning Group for the Hetch Hetchy Water and Power Division. There, he analyzes weather forecasts, measures hydrologic conditions like rain and snowpack, predicts runoff into the upcountry reservoirs (Hetch Hetchy, Cherry Lake, and Lake Eleanor), and plans water deliveries and hydropower generation.
Harrison knows first hand the importance of STEM education and how it empowers young people to understand the physical processes that provide society with fundamental things like water and electricity.
“STEM gives you the problem-solving skills to collect and analyze information and make evidence-based decisions,” he said.
Forrester enjoys participating in the Dinner with a Scientist event because he is able to show students how STEM education and weather play a key role in the utilities services that the SFPUC provides to more than 2.7 millions customers every day.
“Try to do hard school work with your friends and classmates, you’ll learn how to articulate questions and work with others,” he advises young people. “You’ll also look at things differently than you would on your own—two heads are better than one. These skills are so valuable for dealing with the evolving problems that you encounter in utilities.”