In terms of years of experience, I stopped counting at 30 years, but I think I hit 38. When I stop to reflect, I realize that it has been an amazing journey and an opportunity to see a whole profession grow, development, recruit the next generation, and, in many way, flourish.
My experience spans local government, non-profit, private consulting, and teaching at the university level. I have now completed my sixth year running Hirschman Water & Environment (HWE) after keeping it dormant for over a decade while I pursued other endeavors (namely, working for the Center for Watershed Protection). I have found that collaboration with a diversity of partners is what makes this enterprise work, and also adds great pleasure to the day-to-day labors.
This period of time has been, to say the least, unconventional for many professions. I can certainly count my blessings in terms of my professional life. I assisted with converting several curricula to on-line formats and, like many, spent hours in a little Zoom box. I particularly enjoyed the times I was able to get outside, do field work, or teach outdoor classes. Being outdoors was an elixir to counter the overwhelming news and general sense of anxiety.
In December of 2019, I was honored to receive the Marcy Damon Award from the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council for contributions to sustainable water resources management. The Marcy Damon Conservation Landscaping Award was established by CCLC to honor former Council chair and Maryland naturalist and educator, Marcy Damon. The award is presented every two years at CCLC’s Turning A New Leaf symposium. To me, this award reflects many talented individuals I have worked with over the last several years through the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional program.
I have very much enjoyed writing my periodic blog posts, and I appreciate all the readers who have sent me thoughtful insights and comments. This has given me a renewed opportunity to wax philosophical on the status of the stormwater and watershed profession, and I must say that discovering my voice through writing has been very rewarding. Please check it out here.
The Projects Page highlights several recent projects. I have had the privilege to collaborate with the following organizations:
- ABL Landscape Architecture
- A. Morton Thomas & Associates, Inc.
- America in Bloom
- Albemarle County, VA
- Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
- Center for Natural Capital
- Center for Watershed Protection, Inc.
- Center for Urban Habitats
- Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission
- Central Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association
- Chesapeake Bay Foundation
- Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional
- Chesapeake Conservation Landscape Council
- Chesapeake Stormwater Network
- City of Charlottesville, VA
- City of Harrisonburg, VA
- City of Lynchburg, VA
- CityScape Engineering
- DV Entertainment, David Verde
- Ecosystem Services, LLC
- EEE Consulting, Inc.
- Elizabeth River Project
- Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River
- James River Association
- Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville
- Horsley Witten Group
- Howard EcoWorks
- James Madison University
- Luck Ecosystems, Inc.
- Metro Government of Nashville and Davidson County, TN
- National Fish & Wildlife Foundation
- Lake Champlain Basin Program
- Laurel Williamson
- Marcus Aguilar, Ph.D.
- Osceola Land Design, Melissa Morrison
- Rivanna Conservation Alliance
- Roudabush, Gale & Associates
- SG Designs, Scotty Dillworth
- Shimp Engineering PC
- SOLitude Lake Management
- South River Science Team, DuPont
- Southern Environmental Law Center
- Storm & Stream Solutions
- The Watershed Institute
- University of Tennessee
- University of Virginia
- Virginia Conservation Assistance Program
- Virginia Environmental Endowment
- Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
- Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries
- Watershed Consulting Associates
- Windridge Landscaping & Hardscaping, Jeff Howe
Prior to starting HWE, I served as a Program Director and Senior Water Resources Specialist with the Center for Watershed Protection (CWP). This respected organization is a “go-to” place for watershed and stormwater information, and I was honored to work with a long succession of talented colleagues (current CWP employees and alums) on water issues across the country, and even on several tropical islands.
Prior to joining CWP in the mid-2000s, I managed the first incarnation of Hirschman Water & Environment and also worked for Biohabitats of Virginia out of an office here in Charlottesville. From 1993 to 2005, I served as the Water Resources Manager for Albemarle County, VA. This opportunity gave me exposure to a full range of water resources topics. I managed stakeholder groups to develop the Water Protection Ordinance (including the groundwater component), implemented stream restoration and stormwater projects, reviewed plans, conducted inspections, had a hand in the Comprehensive Plan, and interacted with many citizens, other agencies, and the elected officials. Many challenges that we faced in the “early” days of stormwater program development have become common themes across the profession and therefore provided a strong foundation for my own professional development.
I look forward to working with many more colleagues and associates on stormwater and watershed challenges, both large and small.