Scott Tardif – Internship at Department of Public Health


Scott’s masters degree curriculum at UConn has enjoyably been spent focusing on water resources management. During his internship at the Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Drinking Water Section, he was rewarded by working with a group of people that are dedicated to protecting the public’s clean drinking water supplies, just as Scott is.

Scott’s internship at the Department of Public Health has focused on the Source Assessment and Protection Unit and involved GIS mapping of emerging contaminants, such as chloride contamination of wells from road salting and aquatic pesticide usage throughout Connecticut. For his main project, he conducted a statewide risk analysis of public water systems that are vulnerable to polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a class of man-made compounds that have become an emerging contaminant throughout the country.  Scott contributed to the State’s public messaging on PFAS for their website.  Scott’s favorite experience that came out of this project was the opportunity to work together with numerous other agencies such as Connecticut DEEP, local health departments, and other states’ counterpart agencies throughout the northeast.   

Throughout his internship, he learned about regulatory oversight of drinking water and the process of public water supply distribution.  Scott participated in sanitary surveys on various water systems, which helped towards his understanding of water supply. Tardif said, “Most people turn on a faucet and don’t think about where their water is coming from (I didn’t!), but there is a lot of work that goes into treating and protecting it!”

Scott is dedicated to public service and effective scientific communication.  This passion motivated him to further his education at UConn and specialize in Natural Resources Management.  “Experiential education also motivates me to get involved with different organizations and projects,” said Tardif.  At UConn, he attended flood managers conferences, participated in Connecticut State Water Plan meetings, and took a course in Italy about ancient Roman water supply.

“I have worked with phenomenal people at DPH and in the drinking water industry. The networking has been invaluable for my career,” said Tardif.