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PROFESSOR, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: At 12, Was Told She Was Bad At Math; It Wasn't True

About this video 

Calla, an Assistant Professor, teaches Environmental Science and conducts research in hydrology: how to manage our water resources so that we have enough to drink and grow crops. After failing a math placement test in 8th grade, she was afraid of math for years -- until she took calculus in college and discovered she was good at it!

Degree: Biology - Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences
Job Title: Assistant Professor

Job Summary: Hydrologists

Job Description

Hydrologists study water and the water cycle. They study the movement, distribution, and other properties of water, and they analyze how these influence the surrounding environment. They use their expertise to solve problems concerning water quality and availability, for example.

On-the-Job Training

None

Additional Info

In some states, hydrologists need a license to practice. Requirements vary by state, but they typically include minimum education and experience requirements and passing an exam.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$50,000 - $115,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
10 to 20 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Physically demanding, Travel, Indoor, Office, Outdoor
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Analytical skills, Strength/stamina, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills, Detail oriented, Likes working with hands, Mathematical skills

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='260'>My name is</span> <span m='640'>Calla</span> <span m='983'>Schmidt.</span> <span m='1670'>And</span> <span m='2110'>I'm</span> <span m='2340'>a</span> <span m='2410'>Professor</span> <span m='2950'>of</span> <span m='3000'>Environmental</span> <span m='3490'>Science</span> <span m='4100'>at</span> <span m='4360'>the</span> <span m='4430'>University</span> <span m='4790'>of</span> <span m='4850'>San</span> <span m='5010'>Francisco.</span> <span m='7040'>My</span> <span m='7380'>area</span> <span m='7730'>of</span> <span m='7910'>expertise</span> <span m='8490'>is</span> <span m='8660'>hydrology,</span> <span m='9610'>which</span> <span m='9770'>is</span> <span m='10080'>looking</span> <span m='10470'>at</span> <span m='11010'>where</span> <span m='11280'>water</span> <span m='11550'>is,</span> <span m='11900'>and</span> <span m='12230'>where</span> <span m='12410'>it's</span> <span m='12550'>moving,</span> <span m='13020'>and</span> <span m='13220'>how</span> <span m='13590'>clean</span> <span m='13880'>it</span> <span m='13980'>is.</span> </p><p><span m='15720'>So</span> <span m='16960'>on</span> <span m='17130'>a</span> <span m='17170'>given</span> <span m='17440'>day</span> <span m='17780'>I</span> <span m='17990'>do</span> <span m='19370'>a</span> <span m='19450'>balance</span> <span m='19880'>of</span> <span m='20160'>teaching</span> <span m='20690'>and</span> <span m='20830'>research.</span> <span m='21390'>So</span> <span m='21790'>right</span> <span m='21960'>now</span> <span m='22090'>I'm</span> <span m='22200'>teaching</span> <span m='22890'>environmental</span> <span m='23310'>science</span> <span m='23790'>to</span> <span m='23950'>freshman</span> <span m='24300'>at the</span> <span m='24650'>University</span> <span m='25120'>of</span> <span m='25260'>San Francisco,</span> <span m='27140'>and</span> <span m='28430'>yesterday</span> <span m='28970'>I</span> <span m='29070'>was</span> <span m='29230'>on</span> <span m='29350'>a</span> <span m='29390'>boat</span> <span m='29780'>in</span> <span m='29860'>Sacramento</span> <span m='30320'>river.</span> <span m='30880'>And</span> <span m='31090'>I</span> <span m='31230'>got</span> <span m='32070'>done</span> <span m='32439'>with</span> <span m='32780'>collecting</span> <span m='33280'>water</span> <span m='33520'>samples</span> <span m='33970'>off</span> <span m='34150'>the</span> <span m='34290'>boat</span> <span m='34960'>around</span> <span m='35370'>5:00 PM,</span> <span m='36010'>and</span> <span m='36190'>then I</span> <span m='36290'>went and</span> <span m='36340'>filtered</span> <span m='36820'>water</span> <span m='37275'>for a couple</span> <span m='37730'>hours.</span> <span m='37830'>So</span> <span m='38710'>I</span> <span m='38830'>really</span> <span m='39080'>span</span> <span m='40270'>a</span> <span m='40560'>lot</span> <span m='40800'>of</span> <span m='40870'>things</span> <span m='41110'>in</span> <span m='41190'>one</span> <span m='41360'>day.</span> </p><p><span m='42980'>I</span> <span m='43290'>went</span> <span m='43610'>to</span> <span m='44050'>college</span> <span m='44550'>to study</span> <span m='44720'>geology.</span> <span m='46180'>Fell</span> <span m='46430'>in</span> <span m='46490'>love</span> <span m='46730'>with</span> <span m='48540'>just</span> <span m='48750'>being</span> <span m='48950'>outside.</span> <span m='49420'>And</span> <span m='50310'>trying</span> <span m='50490'>to</span> <span m='50530'>understand</span> <span m='50830'>how</span> <span m='50980'>do</span> <span m='51090'>mountains</span> <span m='51550'>get</span> <span m='51730'>built,</span> <span m='52550'>how</span> <span m='52680'>do</span> <span m='52810'>rivers</span> <span m='53420'>erode</span> <span m='53800'>mountains--</span> <span m='54330'>these</span> <span m='54530'>kinds</span> <span m='54830'>of</span> <span m='55300'>really</span> <span m='55520'>big</span> <span m='55690'>picture</span> <span m='55990'>questions.</span> </p><p><span m='57630'>And</span> <span m='57760'>when</span> <span m='57840'>I</span> <span m='57890'>graduated,</span> <span m='58590'>I</span> <span m='58640'>wanted</span> <span m='58820'>to</span> <span m='58880'>get</span> <span m='58990'>a</span> <span m='59030'>job.</span> <span m='59790'>And</span> <span m='59960'>I</span> <span m='60030'>saw</span> <span m='60290'>that</span> <span m='60440'>the</span> <span m='60510'>field</span> <span m='60770'>of</span> <span m='60840'>hydrology,</span> <span m='61650'>which</span> <span m='61860'>is</span> <span m='63030'>an</span> <span m='63170'>Earth</span> <span m='63350'>science</span> <span m='63760'>background,</span> <span m='64310'>but</span> <span m='65280'>comes</span> <span m='65550'>to</span> <span m='65690'>the</span> <span m='65790'>questions</span> <span m='66320'>of</span> <span m='66490'>how</span> <span m='66640'>do</span> <span m='66700'>we</span> <span m='66800'>manage</span> <span m='67230'>water</span> <span m='67470'>resources,</span> <span m='67730'>how do</span> <span m='67990'>we have</span> <span m='68150'>enough</span> <span m='68430'>water</span> <span m='68630'>to</span> <span m='68720'>drink,</span> <span m='69210'>to</span> <span m='69330'>grow</span> <span m='69540'>crops,</span> <span m='70060'>these</span> <span m='70250'>kinds</span> <span m='70480'>of</span> <span m='70540'>things.</span> <span m='70920'>And</span> <span m='71560'>applied</span> <span m='72080'>nature</span> <span m='72490'>of</span> <span m='72650'>those</span> <span m='73450'>questions</span> <span m='73800'>got</span> <span m='74150'>me</span> <span m='74330'>excited,</span> <span m='74830'>so</span> <span m='75250'>I</span> <span m='75320'>went</span> <span m='75670'>and</span> <span m='75800'>got</span> <span m='76010'>a</span> <span m='76070'>Ph.D.</span> <span m='76610'>in</span> <span m='76730'>hydrology.</span> <span m='78860'>And</span> <span m='79570'>for</span> <span m='79710'>that</span> <span m='79920'>research,</span> <span m='80310'>I</span> <span m='80370'>kept</span> <span m='80700'>an</span> <span m='81050'>applied</span> <span m='81490'>focus</span> <span m='81890'>trying</span> <span m='82100'>to</span> <span m='82260'>look</span> <span m='82460'>at</span> <span m='82590'>how</span> <span m='82750'>to</span> <span m='82890'>make</span> <span m='85540'>farming</span> <span m='86420'>more</span> <span m='86570'>friendly</span> <span m='87010'>for</span> <span m='87150'>groundwater</span> <span m='88430'>resources</span> <span m='89020'>in</span> <span m='89100'>terms</span> <span m='89430'>of</span> <span m='89580'>both</span> <span m='89810'>how</span> <span m='89970'>much</span> <span m='90170'>water's</span> <span m='90350'>available</span> <span m='90900'>and</span> <span m='91890'>how</span> <span m='92310'>to</span> <span m='92450'>not</span> <span m='92700'>pollute</span> <span m='93190'>it</span> <span m='93520'>with</span> <span m='93730'>products</span> <span m='94040'>used</span> <span m='94330'>in</span> <span m='94830'>agriculture.</span> </p><p><span m='100130'>What</span> <span m='100470'>I</span> <span m='100540'>wish</span> <span m='100740'>I</span> <span m='100820'>knew</span> <span m='101125'>if</span> <span m='101430'>I</span> <span m='101540'>could</span> <span m='101730'>go</span> <span m='101890'>talk</span> <span m='102180'>to</span> <span m='102290'>my</span> <span m='102470'>high</span> <span m='102690'>school</span> <span m='102950'>self.</span> <span m='103930'>I</span> <span m='104080'>took</span> <span m='104390'>a</span> <span m='104700'>math</span> <span m='105050'>placement</span> <span m='105620'>exam</span> <span m='106280'>in</span> <span m='106510'>eighth</span> <span m='106720'>grade and</span> <span m='107100'>I</span> <span m='107270'>didn't</span> <span m='107640'>pass</span> <span m='107940'>it,</span> <span m='108280'>and I</span> <span m='108360'>got</span> <span m='108600'>put</span> <span m='108860'>in</span> <span m='109020'>a</span> <span m='110070'>non-calculus</span> <span m='111930'>math</span> <span m='112470'>trajectory.</span> <span m='113620'>And</span> <span m='113970'>I</span> <span m='114460'>just</span> <span m='114650'>accepted</span> <span m='115130'>that</span> <span m='115220'>I</span> <span m='115260'>wasn't</span> <span m='115640'>good</span> <span m='115890'>at</span> <span m='115960'>math</span> <span m='116460'>and</span> <span m='116830'>was</span> <span m='117170'>afraid</span> <span m='117440'>of</span> <span m='117510'>it</span> <span m='117700'>for</span> <span m='117900'>years.</span> </p><p><span m='119330'>And</span> <span m='120160'>then</span> <span m='120390'>in</span> <span m='120480'>college</span> <span m='120970'>I</span> <span m='121010'>had</span> <span m='121220'>to</span> <span m='121280'>take</span> <span m='121720'>calculus,</span> <span m='122470'>and</span> <span m='123360'>I</span> <span m='124160'>turned</span> <span m='124330'>out</span> <span m='124620'>to</span> <span m='124760'>be good</span> <span m='124930'>at it.</span> <span m='125380'>And</span> <span m='125560'>I</span> <span m='125660'>feel</span> <span m='126240'>that</span> <span m='128199'>you</span> <span m='128340'>have</span> <span m='128610'>to</span> <span m='128800'>make</span> <span m='129000'>sure</span> <span m='129479'>that</span> <span m='129620'>you</span> <span m='129720'>don't</span> <span m='130030'>let</span> <span m='130259'>anything</span> <span m='131070'>in</span> <span m='131200'>your</span> <span m='131310'>educational</span> <span m='133120'>trajectory</span> <span m='133740'>of</span> <span m='133850'>middle</span> <span m='134050'>school</span> <span m='134330'>or</span> <span m='134370'>high</span> <span m='134510'>school</span> <span m='135000'>define</span> <span m='136160'>your</span> <span m='136590'>life.</span> <span m='138420'>That</span> <span m='138650'>just</span> <span m='138820'>because</span> <span m='139090'>you're</span> <span m='139180'>not</span> <span m='139450'>good</span> <span m='139550'>at</span> <span m='139620'>something</span> <span m='139930'>when</span> <span m='140020'>you're</span> <span m='140120'>12,</span> <span m='140470'>doesn't</span> <span m='140690'>mean</span> <span m='140820'>you</span> <span m='140910'>won't</span> <span m='141110'>be</span> <span m='141220'>good</span> <span m='141390'>at</span> <span m='141520'>it</span> <span m='141650'>when</span> <span m='141770'>you're</span> <span m='141880'>20.</span> <span m='142630'>And</span> <span m='142760'>when</span> <span m='142850'>you</span> <span m='142930'>get</span> <span m='143070'>to</span> <span m='143150'>college,</span> <span m='143540'>you</span> <span m='143650'>can</span> <span m='143830'>re-explore</span> <span m='144420'>topics</span> <span m='145230'>and</span> <span m='147760'>grow.</span> </p><p><span m='149300'>I</span> <span m='149510'>ultimately</span> <span m='150080'>became</span> <span m='150390'>a</span> <span m='150430'>scientist,</span> <span m='151600'>and</span> <span m='152010'>maybe</span> <span m='152340'>my</span> <span m='153140'>high</span> <span m='153350'>school</span> <span m='153980'>algebra</span> <span m='154340'>teacher</span> <span m='154610'>wouldn't</span> <span m='154830'>have</span> <span m='154930'>guessed</span> <span m='155220'>that.</span> <span m='157350'>It's</span> <span m='157610'>something</span> <span m='157870'>I'm</span> <span m='158070'>really</span> <span m='158360'>glad</span> <span m='158660'>that</span> <span m='158750'>I</span> <span m='158830'>revisited,</span> <span m='159400'>because</span> <span m='159660'>it's</span> <span m='160030'>something</span> <span m='160310'>I'm</span> <span m='160420'>very</span> <span m='160640'>passionate</span> <span m='161110'>about.</span> <span m='161410'>And</span> <span m='161880'>if</span> <span m='161980'>I</span> <span m='162080'>hadn't</span> <span m='162560'>taken</span> <span m='162980'>additional</span> <span m='163340'>math</span> <span m='163580'>classes</span> <span m='163890'>in</span> <span m='163970'>college,</span> <span m='164380'>that</span> <span m='164770'>path</span> <span m='165250'>wouldn't</span> <span m='165730'>have</span> <span m='165970'>been</span> <span m='166120'>open</span> <span m='166350'>to</span> <span m='166480'>me.</span> </p>","file":{"id":304862,"video_id":"2791285154001","name":"1409-Calla-ProfEnvScience1","duration":167927,"thumbnail_url":null}});