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Monday, February 08, 2016

Interview with Syreena Mortimer, Instructional Designer: Innovators in E-Learning Series

How can you bulletproof yourself in a quickly evolving world?  One of the best ways is to continually evolve by reinventing yourself.  But how? That is where the instructional designer does his or her magic.

The world of the instructional designer is challenging, constantly evolving, a wonderful place to express your creativity in a way that builds human capital through effective training, education, and knowledge transfer. 

Welcome to an interview with Syreena Mortimer, an instructional designer who has recently earned her Instructional Design Certification from Rollins College. 

1.  What is your name and your relationship to e-learning?
My name is Syreena Mortimer and I am an instructional designer.

Syreena Mortimer
2.  How did you become interested in instructional design?
I became friends with an instructional designer several years ago. She told me all about her job and introduced me to other instructional design contacts. They each shared unique perspectives about their job roles in academic, federal, and commercial projects. I was really inspired by the all of the different ways they shared information with their learners. Because I was looking for a way to expand my career, I realized that instructional design is a rapidly expanding field with many opportunities. My background is in library science and I wanted to explore ways to organize content and teach others, so I decided to pursue the Instructional Design Certificate at Rollins College.

3.  What are some of the uses of instructional design that excite you?
I love to teach others, so I get really excited when I get to chunk and structure content to make it more accessible to learners.

4.  When you worked on your certificate at Rollins College, what were some of the aspects that were most interesting to you?  What were the courses that you took?

I took six courses for my Instructional Design Certificate at Rollins College: Introduction to Instructional Design, Learner Motivation and Engagement, Learning in the Connected Age, Learning Technologies, Introduction to eLearning, and a Capstone class.

I was particularly interested in the Learner Motivation and Engagement course because I was exposed to the key concepts of learning psychology. I studied some thought-provoking theories and applied them in my daily life for designing learning, working in a team, and setting personal goals. The capstone course was the most useful to me because we created and enhanced our professional portfolios- something crucial for an instructional design career!

5.  How did you use your instructional design knowledge gained from the program?
The knowledge that I gained from the program directly supported my job interview performance as well as my daily work.  I was familiar with instructional design terms and processes, able discuss learning theories, and was ready to share my portfolio. In my daily work, I use these skills to contribute to my team instructional design team in order to create, develop, and implement web-based training.

6.  What sorts of opportunities have you been able to explore as an instructional designer?
I’ve had fun working on different types of projects over the past couple of years. I had an informal internship with an instructional design mentor at a publishing company, and I helped her create quick reference guides. We also interviewed stakeholders in order to update training guides. When I worked for a consulting company, I got to participate in planning meetings about the instructional design process for a commercial client, and then I was staffed on a military client. I traveled onsite to meet with client representatives and worked with a small team to create web-based training. I will be transitioning into the hospitality industry to be a learning designer, where I will create and conduct in-person and online trainings.


7.  What is the most enjoyable experience that you've had so far in designing instruction?
There have been many enjoyable experiences! One that stands out is when I learned how to use an eLearning authoring tool by watching videos online, and then I taught my team members how to use the tool- all within two weeks. When I taught them, first I shared an example of the end product, then demonstrated the development steps, and then I had the learners practice alone (with feedback for any questions). The training was a success and my team members were able to create mini-presentations using the tool within 1 hour.

8.  Please list the cloud-based apps you find most useful and fun.

Marvel App: great for collaborative prototyping

Thing Link: fun and easy way to make pictures interactive

Creatley: design diagrams and charts

Prezi: create engaging presentations

Canva: make infographics, posters, advertisements, and other graphic designs

Monday, February 01, 2016

Interview with Brian Kalt, Fairmont Brine Processing. Innovators and Entrepreneurs Series.

Protecting the environment is critical in oil and gas operations, and the fact that many oil wells produce significant amounts of saltwater that must then be disposed of safely can be both expensive and can lead to unintended consequences. As a result, there has been a great deal of work done to develop processes that can dispose of produced water in an economic way.  Fairmont Brine Processing has developed and implemented an evaporation and crystallization process that has been used in the Marcellus in the Appalachian Basin with great success.

Welcome to an interview with Brian Kalt, Fairmont Brine Processing.

1.    What is your name and your new process?
Although evaporation has been going on since the dawn of time and crystallization since the 1800s, utilizing both processes to manage the wastewater produced in the natural resource extraction process is a novel concept and has allowed Fairmont Brine Processing to pioneer its patented evaporation and crystallization process for not only the natural gas and oil industry, but the environment and the community as well.

2.    What exactly does your process do?
 As an alternative to the sequestering of trillions of gallons of water beneath the earth’s surface via deep well injection, Fairmont Brine Processing is able to receive flowback and produced fluid from the drilling and hydraulic-fracturing process and recycle it into three reusable products.  Throughout the entire Appalachian Basin, our distilled water is reused in the drilling and fracturing process and drastically reduces costs at the wellhead by eliminating biocide, scale inhibitor and friction reducers.  The dry sodium chloride rock salt is used to keep highways open and safe during the winter.  Additionally, this sodium chloride is used in the chemical manufacturing process.  Throughout Appalachia, we also produce a liquid calcium chloride that is reused in the natural resource extraction process.  Fairmont Brine Processing is the lowest cost producer and supplier of this product in the entire country and because of this, TETRA Technologies, Inc. was smart enough to sign a 15 year sales and marketing agreement with us, which gives them the sole rights to market and distribute this product.


3.    What does the process accomplish? What are the main advantages?
 On average, a well can produce hydrocarbons for 30+ years.  In addition to natural gas and or oil, water is also produced throughout the life of a well.  Water that was used during completions (flowback) and salt water (produced fluid) that’s trapped in the earth’s formation will return to the earth’s surface and must be disposed of in one of two ways.  Historically, this wastewater is trucked hundreds of miles in and out of state only to be sequestered back beneath the earth’s surface via deep well injection.  Secondly, black-box water treatment technologies have popped up to “recycle” this water for reuse in future operations.  However, this is essentially a Ponzi scheme in a sense that if an exploration and production company is not completing any wells, this recycled water is useless and must then be pumped back beneath the earth’s surface, which has led to increased seismic activity in Oklahoma, Texas and now Ohio.

4.    Where are you currently using your process?
 The current operating facility in Fairmont, WV receives fluid from all around the Appalachian Basin.

5.    How much does it cost?  Is it an economic solution?
 This is an environmentally responsible and cost-effective alternative to deep well injection.  The cost varies by Basin and is dependent on an exploration and production company’s volumes and length of commitment to utilize the facility.

6.    Where can your process solve problems?
 First and foremost, Fairmont Brine Processing’s evaporation and crystallization process can immediately address what’s going on in Oklahoma.  I used to say that behind closed doors industry veterans would tell you that it’s not the drilling and fracturing process that’s causing the technically enhanced seismic activity, but rather through the uptick in the media’s coverage, O&G industry veterans and geophysicists are and have successfully correlated the earthquakes as a result of deep well injection.  In addition to replacing deep well injection, this process would be a waterfall all throughout Texas.  In places like the Eagleford and Permian where it’s a struggle to keep the frac going on a daily basis because fresh water is so limited, Fairmont Brine Processing’s evaporation and crystallization process would produce enough distilled water to offset the dwindling water supply and drastically reduce chemical consumption at the wellhead.

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