Love of nature, problem solving focused staffer on engineering career
Many of the decisions the St. Johns River Water Management District makes to protect water resources are based on different types of models. These models help district experts understand how proposed projects can affect future water quality and hydrodynamics (the flow patterns of water).
Michelle Brown is a senior project manager in the district’s Bureau of Watershed Management and Modeling. She’s a problem-solver, a professional engineer and a steward of Florida’s water all rolled into one. But she’s also an eternal student, relentless in her quest for knowledge.
“My current responsibilities range from data processing, to project management and developing hydrodynamic and water quality models,” Brown says. “Most of my days are spent working at my office computer with the occasional field visits. I’m continually learning new modeling software, trouble-shooting, and working to keep up with my incredibility talented co-workers.”
Brown, who joined the district in 2016, says her family inspired her in all aspects of her life, not solely her decision to pursue a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) career. She says, “They taught me that with persistence and hard work, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.”
“I’ve always loved nature,” she adds. “Combine that with my enjoyment for problem solving and engineering seemed like a natural fit when I began college.”
Brown says the work of the district is important because everyone strives to have a positive impact. “If we can inspire others along the way, like district interns, then our missions will be carried on for generations to come,” Brown says.
Brown’s advice to students considering a STEM career: “For all the students out there interested in working in the STEM field, if this is your passion, go for it! With a little hard work and determination, anything is possible. Apply for an internship, get out and volunteer in the community, or find other opportunities to be involved in STEM actives. If you’re reading these STEM articles, you’re already on your way…keep going!”