Callie Register:

Hydrologist’s job offers variety

Callie Register’s interest in engineering evolved over time, shaped by internships, professors and a love of math and the outdoors. But it was a college professor who encouraged her passion for hydrology and pursuit of a Master’s degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering with a Hydrologic Sciences Certificate.

Today, Register puts her passion to work reviewing water use permits as part of the district’s regulatory services. “Florida is such a special and beautiful place. I love the mission of the district and how important our work is to protect the water resources that really drive all ecosystems in our state.”

Register’s responsibilities include both permitting and compliance on consumptive use permits. “While all permits have to meet the same rule criteria, how they do so vary greatly,” she shares. As an engineer, she divides her time between meeting with applicants and consultants, making site visits to understand the project, and evaluating permit applications or compliance materials.

Even after 10 years, each of her permit projects teaches Register something new. “One day I may be talking to a farmer about the irrigation needs of an exotic tree species, the next day, interacting with representatives of a large company about the water demands of a power plant, and the next, I’m talking with a utilities director about an alternative source of water for a city.”

It’s a career that’s put her love of math into practice, and something she would encourage others to pursue. “Push through the tough math classes and various science classes that may not be exactly what you want to do on a day-to-day basis. Learning to learn is perhaps the point of STEM, and once you accomplish those skills, there are so many opportunities to find a job that fuels your passion.”