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Water quality top priority in Apopka for UF/IFAS Agent


By Tory Moore | ifas.ufl.edu

Yilin Zhuang is a Regional Special Agent (RSA) working with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension that covers multiple counties and specializes in specific program areas. Zhuang's specialty is water, specifically, integrated water resources management. Her coverage area includes Orlando and 11 central Florida counties, and Apopka is included in her region.

“Water is a foundation of life but so many places and people do not have access to clean water,” she said. “My passion to help people understand the importance of water quality and quantity and make water safe and readily available to everyone. It is why I pursued this career.”

Previously, Zhuang was the Community Resource Efficiency agent for UF/IFAS Extension Marion County where she focused on public outreach of well water quality and septic system management.

Zhuang holds a doctorate in civil engineering, where she studied the water-energy nexus, the relationship between how much water is used to generate and transmit energy and how much energy it takes to collect, clean, move, store and dispose of water.

“There is a lot of scientific research about water quality and how it relates to human health, but it is not available or accessible to most people,” she said. “Once I discovered Extension as a way to bridge that gap and educate people about water, I knew it was where I wanted to be. It is what got me into Extension and why I will stay in Extension.”

Zhuang will work across the central district to enhance water quality and quantity. While her research program, based at the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, is not yet defined she anticipates communicating important water issues to a variety of stakeholders including public officials and science teachers.

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents.

Research, University of Florida, Water quality


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