The RS&H Tyler, Texas, office associates’ New Year’s resolutions for 2014 focused on increasing personal and industry knowledge, while sharing their expertise with others in their community. To achieve their goals, they participated in a variety of activities and training.

With January already moving by more quickly than they could’ve imagined, the Tyler, Texas, team is looking forward to a fast-paced and exciting year filled with many more opportunities. We wish you a happy New Year and good luck in 2015!

In May, environmental scientist Kate Lindekugel attended the first of five levels of Natural Channel Design under renowned stream designer Dave Rosgen, PhD. This intensive, week-long course in Seeley Lake, Montana, provided Kate the chance to learn directly from the country’s foremost expert on stream channel design. She learned about river behavior, natural stream development, channel restoration, fish habitat improvement, and stream bank erosion, all while still managing to have a little fun with fellow classmates.

“It was amazing to see channels, which were designed and restored properly, experience floods 10,000 times the amount of water normally found in the channel, and yet there was no loss of critical structure or function,” Kate said. “I wouldn’t have believed that was possible if I hadn’t seen it for myself. This truly is the future of hydrologic and hydraulic engineering for streams,” she added.

Senior planner and Tyler office leader Emily Braswell Henderson headed to Savannah, Georgia in August to attend a three-day Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Environmental Review and Compliance training seminar and an additional day in FERC negotiation training. As part of this process, she learned how to prepare an Environmental Report in support of a Natural Gas Act Section 7(c) Application and received an introduction to pipeline construction and impact mitigation.

“This training provided me with a better understanding of our gas and oil business and an opportunity to extend my facilitation and negotiation skills into this area of environmental policy and law,” Emily said.

In September, environmental scientist Neil Boitnott began an eight-month journey with Leadership Tyler, an East Texas program that gives participants the opportunity to develop professional skills, networking abilities, and a passion for community service. Each month, Neil and his colleagues spend a day immersing themselves in a variety of important topics, including economic development, poverty awareness, local government, healthcare, diversity, presentation skills, and media awareness, as well as many others.

“The program is a great learning experience and has helped me connect with key leaders in the community,” Neil said. “One of the main themes of the program is intention without action is meaningless; so take action and make a difference.”

As 2014 neared its close, environmental scientist Elizabeth High was given the opportunity to speak at Stephen F. Austin State University’s National GIS Day celebration on November 19th in Nacogdoches, Texas. GIS Day events on campus included a geospatial map/poster contest and talks with professionals who use the technology in their everyday work. Elizabeth was excited to share the role that GIS plays in her work, as well as basic skills that young GIS professionals should have under their belt as they prepare to enter the workforce.

“The advanced menus and extensions GIS programs offer can be really exciting, but a firm foundation in basic tools and concepts prepares an environmental specialist to make the most of more complex features,” Elizabeth said.

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About the author

Elizabeth High
Elizabeth High
Liz is as an environmental specialist and Geographic Information System (GIS) analyst in the San Antonio office. She has over six years of experience in environmental compliance consulting and permitting with an emphasis on GIS and spatial analysis.