Casey Chatelain

Environmental Scientist

We are excited to announce that Casey Chatelain, formerly of the Barnstable Clean Water Coalition in Osterville, has joined our project team in Sandwich. Her work at the BCWC allowed her the opportunity to collaborate with many partners from EPA, TNC, USGS and the Town of Barnstable and this experience will be an asset to our clients. She worked with the Barnstable Land Trust and has served on the Town of Barnstable’s Water Resources Advisory Committee. Working hand and hand with these various organizations, Casey contributed to important, innovative, alternative, septic system projects. She looks forward to working with our project teams on a variety of ecological restoration and water resources projects.

I hope to make towns like Brewster, MA a better place for all with my knowledge and experience”  – Casey

Casey earned her B.A. in environmental studies from the College of the Holy Cross and her M.O. in Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. A New York native, she grew up spending summers sailing in Cotuit and loves spending time on Cape Cod. She currently serves on two boards for the Town of Brewster: The Conservation Commission and the Board of Health.  When Casey is not working, she enjoys all that Brewster has to offer, exploring the outdoors while walking, gardening, bee keeping, and spending time with her husband and their eleven-year-old Chocolate Labrador Retriever Elly.

 

a day well spent

Washington Irving Middle School
Roslindale, MA

Recently Gabby Queenan, Jonas Procton, Ellen Biegert, Steve Stanish and others participated in a Green Infrastructure training exercise with students from X-Cel Education, Conservation Corps. Gabby’s professional area of expertise as an environmental planner is water focused, mainly evaluating GI opportunities, and collaborating with community leaders to explore options for GI projects, as well as outreach and community engagement.

HW: Why is this training opportunity important?

GQ: Volunteer opportunities like this one, put our work in a different context. It is definitely an added  bonus to revisit a project and learn from it. I think there are some direct benefits to leaving our consulting bubble for the day and talking to young people about the benefits of GI. We are prompted with new questions and perspectives that make us think creatively about how these solutions can address challenges within communities.

HW: What did you take away from the experience?

GQ: My favorite part was the one-on-one conversations with the students. They are preparing for their wastewater treatment operator’s exam, and I enjoyed hearing their first impressions. Their big picture questions were appreciated by all.

The biggest thing I thought about was what happens to our project sites after our work is done. Is there something else we could be doing to make maintenance easier for the client?

 

If I had to choose one word to summarize the day, it would be “fulfilling!” – Gabby

HW: What is your advice to others who might be considering this volunteer opportunity?

GQ: I would tell staff and associates that it is a pretty unique opportunity and a chance to really see our projects in a different light. Programs like this can help reinforce with the next generation that GI works, and it is worthwhile to learn about how to keep these solutions operating successfully for the long term. Also, a day outside away from my desk was very much appreciated! It was a fun day, and the students were interested in learning from our experiences.

HW: How can we bring in some of our planning work into these trainings?

GQ: We could provide some background perhaps in a different session on how communities are making decisions about whether to include GI. Planning paves the way for these projects. This could take place pre-tour, by having a conversation about why this project became a priority and what were the challenges encountered. Conversations like this might be a good primer before an on-site visit.

HW: Concluding thoughts about the day?

GQ: People really enjoyed the training. The students were curious and asked tough questions. Questions included: How effective is GI as a strategy? What kind of nutrients will this remove? During the landscaping of the bioretention areas, they wanted to know about weeds, invasive plants, and why planting native plants matters. I was a little nervous about fitting in the time for this opportunity, but if I had to choose one word to describe the day it would be “fulfilling.” I am glad that I made time and I feel good about our project work at the school and look forward to hearing about the students’ next steps. It is important to be available to volunteer as you always take something good away.

To learn more visit: X-Cel Education

 

Gemma Kite, P.E. is a talented engineer and water industry professional who has nurtured a relationship with a Boston based non-profit, X-Cel Education (X-Cel). Through networking with the Charles River Watershed Association, she met Aaron Dale, Program Manager of X-Cel Education’s Conservation Corps. Once they talked, she realized HW’s staff expertise and skills might match the training priorities for the program, and she launched a volunteer program. Many of these students are considering career options that do not require a four-year degree, like wastewater and drinking water treatment system operations. Currently X-Cel is graduating 30 students per year.

 

“X-Cel’s goal is to provide training and exposure for young people in the environmental and conservation areas. X-Cel Education improves economic opportunity in underserved Greater Boston neighborhoods through accessible, individualized, and free high school equivalency education, post-secondary preparation, and career readiness development.”

X-Cel Education

 

Wastewater Training  &  Stormwater management

 

The wastewater sector may not sound appealing to many, but truth be told, it is a growing field that is not going away anytime soon. X-Cel’s program offers classwork combined with hands-on field training with professionals, like the engineers and scientists at HW, to learn and hone the skills they will need as treatment facility operators. The trainings help to increase the students’ awareness of environmental career paths and other opportunities. Students learn how to take samples and witness wastewater operations  during tours of nearby treatment facilities. Through HW, participants have also learned about stormwater management  practices by helping with site maintenance and meeting our engineers.

 

Partnerships

 

HW and fellow engineering firm Woodard & Curran are corporate partners to X-Cel Education. We have teamed together to offer training at client sites including The Pinehill’s LLC. wastewater treatment plant. After two successful trainings held last year, six trainings are planned for 2022. Our favorite part of the training is sharing our career choices and milestones one-on-one with the students! We look forward to participating in future training events where we can meet new people. 

 

Future opportunity

 

We hope that by reading this blog post and learning about X-Cel Education we can bring much needed attention to the program and the participants. Currently Gemma is considering co-authoring a presentation at a water focused conference that will also help spread the word. X-Cel has only a handful of partners and is looking for more connections that can expand on the training opportunities . Woodard & Curran have found that it is a great avenue to find young wastewater operators. You can read about their experience at their site.

 

Next Steps

 

Learn more about X-Cel Education.

What other training opportunities are a good match for this program?

Reach out to Gemma Kite to start a discussion.

 

 

Quinn McWatters

Environmental Planner

We are happy to announce that Quinn McWatters has joined our planning group in Sandwich as an Environmental Planner. She will be supporting, and leading project work related to water security training. Quinn earned her B.S. in Environmental Science with a focus on Ecological Restoration, and a B.A. in International Studies with a focus on Globalization from Humboldt State University in California and will receive an MBA in Environmental Sustainability from Wilmington University in Delaware in 2022.

Prior to joining HW, Quinn worked at a non-profit in Falmouth as the Research Coordinator for a marine research organization. She has four years’ experience working for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control as an inspector and attained a wastewater operator certification in 2018 from Delaware Community College. She also earned GIS Professional Certification from the University of California, San Diego. In addition, Quinn has vast project management experience having worked for three consulting firms prior to working for the State. When she is not working, Quinn enjoys exploring her new home in the Northeast while camping and hiking with her husband and her pup, Roscoe.

 

James Cady

Environmental Scientist

We are thrilled to share that Jimmy Cady has joined HW as an Environmental Scientist. He will be working on the firm’s water sector cybersecurity training projects. Jim earned his B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Maryland and an Associate of Arts, General Studies degree from the American Military University, in Charles Town, West Virginia. Jimmy has 13 years of experience working for the U.S. Government.

Growing up in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, the southernmost part of the Outer Banks he dreamed of moving away to discover new people and places. After high school he postponed his degree and joined the United States Navy which sent him to Nevada and after that Maryland where he worked as a Counter Intelligent Analyst with the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C.  He previously held positions in the U.S. Navy as an Industrial Security Analyst and Intelligence Specialist. We know his military experience will be helpful to our water utility clients who are working on cybersecurity assessments and plans.  

When not working he enjoys time with his Fiancée, his cat Milktea, and his dog Egg Roll who is a Corgi. Jimmy has always enjoyed hiking and hopes to rediscover this activity in New England.

 

Gabrielle Queenan

Environmental Planner

We are happy to announce that Gabby Queenan has joined HW as an Environmental Planner. Recently she completed a planning internship working with our planning staff in Providence, RI. We are thrilled to welcome her to the HW Team full-time! Gabby earned her B.A. in Environmental Science and Political Science from Macalester College in Minnesota. A tennis player since age 4, Gabby played singles and doubles tennis for the Macalester Scots! She is currently a M.A. candidate at Tufts University and is studying Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.

Gabby enjoyed working as a teaching assistant for Tufts University and completed  several internships at Tufts, including serving as an environmental analyst with Horsley Consulting. Prior to pursuing her graduate degree, she was the policy director for the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance where she worked on local and state water and climate issues with watershed associations and state environmental agencies.  Gabby’s expertise is focused on water and land planning, climate adaptation, and climate resiliency policies.

When Gabby is not working, she likes to spend time hiking and cross-country skiing in Concord, Massachusetts, as well as kayaking on local rivers. She has a bucket list goal to kayak all the rivers in Massachusetts! We wish her much success.

 

Michael C. Laham, P.E.

Senior engineer

We are pleased to announce that Michael Laham has joined HW in Exeter, NH as a Senior Engineer and Project Manager. A Seacoast New Hampshire native, Mike earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering with a minor in Environmental Science from Northeastern University before pursuing work in the San Francisco Bay Area. While living in the Bay Area, Mike took the opportunity to study permaculture and ecological design with several inspiring practitioners through programs offered by the Regenerative Design Institute and the SF Institute of Architecture, gaining valuable skills to supplement his traditional engineering training.

Mike has 15 years of practical experience in civil and environmental engineering with specific expertise in site design, land-use planning, municipal infrastructure improvements, watershed analysis, stormwater management, permitting and construction oversight. His strong interest in holistic site design, ecological landscapes, and regenerative agriculture systems make him an ideal fit at HW.  When he is not working, Mike is outside: tending the homestead with his wife and two young sons, exploring local landscapes, or hanging out at his family’s apple orchard down the street. He enjoys cooking and fermenting a variety of foods in the kitchen, playing in the rain, and making music with friends and family.

 

Caroline Armstrong

Staff Scientist-Engineer

We are happy to share that Caroline Armstrong has joined HW as a Staff Scientist-Engineer. Caroline earned her B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She has completed internships for two private organizations in Massachusetts and the RI Department of Environmental Management – Office of Waste Management. In her third year at WPI she had the opportunity to work on an interdisciplinary project in Panama City, Panama where the team produced a skills database for the tourism industry. She also completed a major qualifying project at WPI which focused on the East Bridgewater dam removal project.

Caroline has three years’ experience as a Design and Staff Engineer. She is enthusiastic about sustainability and coastal resiliency and looks forward to working on coastal projects. When Caroline is not working, she likes to spend time with her family and her cat, Pepper. She grew up in Hanson, MA and enjoys creative writing, and everything that the south shore has to offer, like pontoon boating, tubing, and relaxing at the beach.

 

Jenna Bernabe

GIS Manager

We are pleased to announce that Jenna Bernabe has joined HW as our Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Manager. Jenna earned her B.S. in Imaging and Photographic Technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology and her M.A. in Geography with a concentration on GIS and Remote Sensing from San Jose State University. A Pittsburgh native, she grew up in Northern Virginia. Her internship at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency piqued her interest in satellite imagery analysis and motivated her to apply to graduate school where her passion for geography and technology came together. Her master’s thesis was a case study of urban heat island detection using Landsat data. Jenna has over ten years’ experience as a GIS professional and program manager with a transportation industry data services provider located in MA.

When Jenna is not working, she enjoys all that New England has to offer, exploring the outdoors while hiking, skiing, and spending time with her family and young daughter. Jenna likes to run and has finished a marathon in Newport, RI! She also enjoys getting out to local ponds and visiting Cape Cod to kayak with family and friends.

 

Saipan, CNMI

watershed assessments


Two years ago, several staff members had the opportunity to travel to Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The team mapped drainage infrastructure, assessed sources of pollution, and identified key opportunities for restoration within the Achugao, Garapan, and Lao Lao Bay Watersheds. 

The group inventoried age-old infrastructure from WWII, observed active construction today, and saw evidence of our future demand on the land.  While abroad, we talked with residents who told stories from decade ago, collaborated with consultants who shared our same concerns, and met with federal agencies to ensure our decision-making process fit the priorities of the people and the place.

Project Summary:

All three watersheds are impaired, exceeding one or more CNMI water quality standards. We assessed each watershed and identified solutions for land-based sources of pollution.   Sponsored by NOAA and the CNMI Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, we worked closely with Koa Consulting LLC, Sea Change Consulting, and The Nature Conservancy to engage local organizations. We collected field data and mapped drainage infrastructure linking flow-patterns with key opportunities to improve water quality.  Our field teams and workshop facilitators gathered hundreds of data points; produced dozens of restoration concepts; and identified watershed management priorities, challenges, and visions.

Next steps will include  drafting watershed management plans to integrate different stakeholder’s priorities (e.g., on-going capital improvements, restoration efforts, road upgrades) and to balance economic growth with environmental integrity.  As a result of this work, we hope federal and local agencies can implement these watershed solutions to one-day meet the CNMI water quality standards.

HW Project Team:

Brian A. Laverriere, RLA
Josephine Ibanez, Environmental Scientist
Eliza Hoffman, Staff Engineer
Brian Kuchar, P.E., RLA, Principal Landscape Architect
Anne Kitchell, Senior Watershed Planner

Project Partners:

The Nature Conservancy-Micronesia
-Berna Gorong 
Sea Change Consulting
-Meghan Gombos
KOA Consulting LLC
-Becky Skeele & Rob Jordan
Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality
-James Benavente

NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program
-Robbie Greene