Contact West National Technology Support Center
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Expertise Directory (73KB)
1201 NE Lloyd Blvd
Portland, OR 97232
(503) 273-2400 Fax: (503) 273-2401
Light rail map from airport (exit at Lloyd Center/NE 11th Street stop)
Map for driving from airport
5601 Sunnyside Ave
Room 1-2150A, Mail Stop 5420
Beltsville, MD 20705
Fax: (301) 504-2295
451 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002-2995
Fax: (413) 253-4375
Bruce J. Newton, Director
Bruce Newton became Director of the West National Technology Support Center in the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on July 25, 2004. In this position he is responsible for managing the development of technical tools and providing technology support for conservation in the Western United States. Mr. Newton has also served as the Director of the NRCS National Water and Climate Center and as a scientist with the National Water and Climate Center and the West National Technical Center. Prior to joining NRCS in 1993, Mr. Newton was a senior manager with the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC, responsible for managing various water quality programs. He began his career in public service in 1979. Mr. Newton is a native of New York. He received his undergraduate degree in Botany and Chemistry from Ohio Wesleyan University and received his Master of Science degree in Environmental Science from Rutgers University. He and his wife, Wendy, have two children Elissa, and Andy.
Betty Shatto, Office Administrative Assistant
Betty Shatto came from the West Regional Office, where she had worked for the past nine years as an administrative assistant. Previously, Ms. Shatto worked for the Watershed Planning Staff in the California State Office as a secretary, illustrator, and program analyst. Betty has an AA degree in Civil Engineering Technology. Betty is the mother of four and a grandmother of seven.
Evelyn Johnson, Office Administrative Assistant
Evelyn graduated with a BA in Geography from the University of South Carolina in 2005. She came to the West National Technology Service Center from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources where she was the Administrative Assistance to the Hydrology Section and the State Climatology Office. During college, she was an environmental project coordinator and an asbestos building inspector for an geotechnical and environmental engineering firm. Evelyn relocated to Portland in the summer of 2009 and is happy to make the Pacific Northwest her new home.
Meg Bishop, Ecologist (Environmental Compliance)
Meg Bishop has been serving as Ecologist at the WNTSC since the reorganization, with a focus on environmental compliance (NEPA, ESA, NHPA, etc.) and conservation planning. Prior to her duties here, she most recently served as the West Regional Grazing Lands (GLCI) Coordinator for several years. She began her NRCS career as a student trainee in Montana in the early 1980s and has since served in a variety of capacities, including Soil and District Conservationist in various locations in Montana, State Grazing Land Coordinator in Montana, and State Grazing Specialist (Agronomist) in Vermont. Meg is a graduate of Montana State University in Range Science, and Pasture & Hayland Agronomy. She also received her Masters degree in Ecosystem Management (with an emphasis in Landscape Ecology and Public Participation) from the University of Montana. Prior to coming on board with the NRCS, Meg worked for the U.S. Forest Service conducting forest stand evaluations, pre-sale activities, controlled burning and fire suppression activities.
Kathryn Boyer, Fisheries Biologist
Kathryn Boyer has served NRCS as a senior level Fisheries Biologist since 1997. She recently led the revision of the Stream Visual Assessment Protocol to expand its utility for conservation planning and implementation. She is the agency's technical contact for guidance regarding the use of SVAP and Conservation Practice Standard 395: Stream Habitat Improvement and Management. She serves on the training cadre of NEDC's Stream Corridor Restoration, Conservation Buffers, and Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management courses. As a member of the WNTSC Core Team, Kathryn has co-developed training in Riparian Ecology and Management for New Mexico and Stream Corridor Restoration for Arizona. She is currently working on a training course for Utah field conservationists on the planning, design, and implementation of irrigation diversions that provide both fish passage and safety from entrainment in irrigation ditches, pumps, and diversions. Kathryn serves as the aquatic ecologist on the WNTSC's stream team. To this end she provides technical assistance to the team and field offices interested in integrating ecological considerations into projects associated with stream corridors to assure that conservation of fish and aquatic species habitats are an integral part of the project objectives. Projects include, but are not limited to, stream habitat improvement or restoration, floodplain and wetland management and restoration, fish passage, fish screens, streambank and channel stabilization, grazing management and riparian restoration and management. Kathryn is the NRCS regional contact for implementation of the Western Native Trout Initiative and the Desert Fish Habitat Partnership which can provide landowners leveraged funding for fish habitat projects. Prior to her affiliation with NRCS Kathryn worked as a district and forest-level fish biologist for the US Forest Service from 1990 to 1997. Kathryn studied marine and desert fish ecology as an undergraduate at the University of Arizona and received her graduate degree at Oregon State University in 1984 where she completed a thesis on smolt physiology of coho salmon. She currently collaborates with ARS, USEPA, OSU, CSU and the NRCS National Agricultural Wildlife Center to determine the effects of agricultural practices on aquatic species. Kathryn is a member of the American Fisheries Society, the North American Benthological Society, and the Desert Fishes Council.
Jim Briggs, Plant Materials Specialist
Jim has worked with the NRCS plant materials program for over 20 years and has been in his current position at the WNTSC since 2005. He has experience managing PMCs as well serving as state plant materials specialist for Arizona and Nevada. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Plant Science and did graduate study in Agronomy and Plant Breeding at the University of Maryland.
Sarah Brown, Organic Conservation Specialist, Oregon Tilth
Sarah discovered her passion for food and agriculture as a student at the University of California at Davis. While completing her B.S. in International Agricultural Development, she had the opportunity to work on the student-run organic farm, visit agricultural systems from California to Chile, and develop a deeper understanding of sustainable agriculture - from hands-on practice to socio-political perspectives. After graduating, she moved with her husband to SW Washington to build and manage a small, diversified, organic farm. Since moving to Portland 3 years ago, Sarah has worked with a number of agriculture education programs including Zenger Farm's Emerging Farmer Training Program, Oregon Tilth's Organic Education Center, and OSU Extension. Now at home on their 2 acre urban farm, Sarah and her husband Conner grow vegetables for a CSA and local restaurants, harvest fruit in abundance, and raise a diversity of livestock. Inspired by the farmers they've met, Sarah and Conner thrive in developing a small farm business together, and are happiest when savoring a home grown meal. Sarah is an employee of Oregon Tilth, a national non-profit organic certifying organization, and will be working with NRCS under a two-year Contribution Agreement. Through this national position she'll be delivering trainings and developing technical information for use by NRCS staff and organic professionals in order to better support conservation work on organic farms.
Steve Campbell, Soil Scientist
Steve Campbell received his BS in Forest Management with a Soil Science option from Washington State University in 1976. Since graduation he has served as a soil scientist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. From 1976 to 1980, Steve was a project member for numerous soil surveys in Washington State including Grays Harbor, Pacific and Wahkiakum Counties, and the Snoqualmie Pass area (eastern King and Pierce Counties). He served as Soil Survey Project Leader for the Colville Indian Reservation (Ferry and Okanogan Counties) in Washington from 1980-1987, followed by the position of Resource Soil Scientist in the Spokane Washington Area Office from 1987-1995. During his time in Spokane, Steve was responsible for providing soil science and wetlands technical assistance to NRCS field offices, units of government, and private individuals. Steve moved to Portland, Oregon in 1995 to serve as Soil Scientist to the NRCS State Office until 2002. While in that position, his responsibilities included providing technology transfer and training on soil science related issues, including soil quality Prior to becoming the Soil Scientist with the WNTSC, Steve most recently served as the Soil Data Quality Specialist for the Pacific Northwest Soil Survey Regional Office in Portland, Oregon where he provided quality assurance for project soil surveys in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Steve also served as the soil survey database manager for the Pacific Northwest and provided training to NRCS personnel and others on using soil survey data. Steve is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist with the Soil Science Society of America. He lives in Portland with his wife Rhonda and daughter Shannon and enjoys many outdoor activities including canoeing, kayaking, skiing, and hiking.
Richard Fasching, Conservation Agronomist
Richard Fasching was born and raised on the family farm in dairy country just west of Minneapolis, MN. With a BS in Agronomy (81) from North Dakota State University and a Masters in Agronomy (99) from Montana State University, Rick began with the then Soil Conservation Service in 1980 in the small town of Lamoure, ND. He was a Soil Conservationist in Grand Forks, North Dakota from 1981-1983, followed by the position of District Conservationist in Minnewaukan, North Dakota from 1983 -1987. In 1987, he transferred to Baker City, Oregon as Area Agronomist. Rick's most recent position was as State Agronomist in Bozeman, Montana from 1992-2009. He accepted the position of Agronomist with the West NTSC Core Team and moved to the Portland area in June of 2009.
Giulio Ferruzzi, Conservation Agronomist
Giulio Ferruzzi was born in northern Italy and raised in Beaufort, North Carolina. Giulio received a BS in Soil Science (91) from North Carolina State University and his Masters in Soil Science and Ph.D. in Agronomy (94/01) from the University of California at Davis. Before his federal service, Giulio's work experience consisted of pest scouting, environmental consulting, soil laboratory analysis, and university research. In 2001, Giulio began his NRCS service as an Agronomist in the Salinas and Templeton, California field offices. In 2005, he became the State Agronomist of Kentucky where he provided technical assistance and policy guidance with nutrient management, pest management and other agronomic practices until mid-2009. He accepted the position of Agronomist with the West NTSC Core Team and moved to the Portland area in June of 2009 with his wife and two daughters.
Gene Fults, GLCI Rangeland Management Specialist
Gene Fults comes to the WNTSC from the position of State Range Management Specialist in Nevada, a position he has held since 2004. Prior to this position he was a Range Conservationist in Florida from 1982 to 2004. Mr. Fults has experience in the areas of ESD-soils correlation, prescribed burning, subtropical pasture management planning, and ecology.
Wendell Gilgert, Wildlife Biologist
Wendell Gilgert was born and raised in California on a fourth generation family farm in eastern San Joaquin County. The farm has been in the family since 1851 and has been farmed in a wildlife friendly manner for several decades. Wendell took both his BS in Biological Science and MS in Plant and Soil Science from California State University, Chico. He started with NRCS as a Cooperative Education Student in 1977 and has worked his entire career with SCS/NRCS. He worked as a Soil Conservationist, District Conservationist, and Area Conservationist in Northern California. For six years he was a Wildlife Biologist for the NRCS Wildlife Habitat Management Institute stationed in the Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology at Colorado State University, where he remains a Faculty Affiliate. Most recently, he served as the NRCS State Biologist for California. While in California, he was program manager for the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program that emphasized work on anadromous fish, corridor and endangered species habitats. Wendell lives in Beaverton with his wife Becca, son Jaime, and two dogs.
Hal Gordon, Economist
Hal Gordon is from the Intermountain West and received a AS in Ecology from Ricks College in 1983, a BS in Range Science from Utah State University in 1986 and an MS in Agricultural Economics from New Mexico State University in 1988. He was a State Economist for 20 years on Oregon's Technology Team, he was the economist on the Oregon Watershed Planning Staff and previously an economist at the West National Technical Center. Hal worked a brief time for the US Forest Service in Idaho, the Extension Service in New Mexico and in several National Parks in southern Utah. His main area of expertise is "field economics" and has developed dozens of tools for field planners and taught many conservation planning courses. He is also a certified "Master Planner" having completed Oregon's planner certification course and written conservation plans. In August of 2007, he was selected as Agricultural Economist on the West National Technology Support Center staff.
Russ Hatz, National Technology Specialist
Russ Hatz received his BS in Forestry Management from Iowa State University in 1975. While a student he worked for the US Forest Service in Union, Oregon for two summers. After graduation he joined the Peace Corps and served as a forester in Liberia, West Africa. After returning from Africa in 1977, Russ was hired by the Makah Indian Tribe in Neah Bay, Washington to conduct an inventory of the Tribe's forest lands. Upon the completion of the inventory he started work with the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs as an Timber Sale Administrator in Neah Bay, Washington. In 1980, he joined the Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service in Ida Grove, Iowa as a Soil Conservationist and then as a District Conservationist in Spencer, Iowa. Russ moved to Portland, Oregon in 1984 to work at the Oregon State Office as the State Forester. In 1999 Russ received his MA in Anthropology from Portland State University and served as the Cultural Resources Specialist for Oregon NRCS. From 2002 to 2009, Russ served as the State Resource Conservationist and Leader for the Ecological Sciences staff also in the Oregon NRCS State Office. Russ became the National Technology Specialist for the West National Technology Support Center in Spring 2009. As the National Technology Specialist, Russ works to develop technical tools and provides technology support for conservation in the Western United States.
Stacy Mitchell, Communications Specialist
Stacy Mitchell was born and raised on the family ranch her grandparents homesteaded near Geraldine, Montana. Following a career in banking in Denver, CO, Stacy returned to college in 1990 and graduated in 1994 with a BS in Business Marketing from Montana State University. She began her career with NRCS while still a student, working for the then Soil Conservation Service as a Public Affairs cooperative education trainee in the MT State Office. After graduation, Stacy served over a year as a public affairs specialist for a 12-county field team in eastern Montana as well as 2 years in the State Office before moving to Pennsylvania where she was the State Public Affairs Specialist for 8 years, working out of Harrisburg. She accepted the position of Public Affairs Specialist with the West NTSC Core Team and moved to the Portland Area in April, 2005. Mitchell enjoys travel, writing, and photography.
Jeff Repp, Rangeland Management Specialist
Jeff Repp began his NRCS career in 1983 and has since served as a Soil Conservationist, District Conservationist, and Rangeland Management Specialist in various locations in Montana and Oregon. He was the State Rangeland Management Specialist in Oregon from 1997 to 2005. Jeff is a graduate of Montana State University with a BS in Range Science and Plant Taxonomy. He has spent most of his career engaged in grazinglands conservation planning, designing and analyzing grazing systems, and developing ecological site descriptions on rangelands (including alpine, wetland, and riparian sites). Jeff is a Certified Professional in Range Management (Society for Range Management - CPRM) and a certified Master Conservation Planner (Oregon NRCS). He has been at the West National Technical Support Center since March, 2005.
Peter Robinson, Water Management Engineer
Before coming to the West National Technology Support Center, Peter Robinson was Lead Engineer at the Grand Prairie Irrigation Project in eastern Arkansas. He also worked at the National Water Management Center for three years where he provided direct assistance to NRCS engineers and technicians in the use of agency sponsored irrigation and drainage software. He has developed models for predicting irrigation efficiencies in large scale irrigation projects, and taken a leadership role in the state of Arkansas for GPS. Peter has also developed and presented a wide range of training sessions for NRCS engineers. Prior to joining NRCS, he worked on numerous water development and water management projects in developing countries in Africa. Peter has a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&M University and a M.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Cornell University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Arkansas.
Pat Shaver, Rangeland Management Specialist
Pat Shaver was born and raised in New Mexico. He attended New Mexico State University and graduated with a degree in Range Science in 1973. Pat worked in several Field Offices in NM, as Range Conservationist and District Conservationist and as Area Range Conservationist in Roswell, NM. He left NM in 1988 and served as State Range Conservationist in Texas, then transferred to the same position in Utah before joining the West National Technical Center in Portland, OR in 1994. In 1995 Pat was assigned to the Grazing Lands Technology Institute and housed in the Rangeland Resources Department at Oregon State University. In September of 2004, he was reassigned as Rangeland Management Specialist on the West National Technology Support Center staff. Pat earned his Ph.D. in Rangeland Ecology from Oregon State University in 2010. Pat is a Certified Professional in Range Management (Society for Range Management CP00-26).
Kip Yasumiishi, Civil Engineer
Kip Yasumiishi comes to the West National Technology Support Center from the Regional Design Team in Spokane, WA. Kip is a native of Idaho and began his career with SCS in 1975. Kip has worked as a Civil Engineer with NRCS (field office, Area Office, WNTSC, and Regional Design Team); with the Corps of Engineers; and with the Rural Development Administration. He received a BS in Construction Engineering Mgt. (1981) and an MS in Civil Engineering (1984) both from Oregon State University. Kip is a Licensed Civil Engineer in California, Oregon, and Washington. He and his wife Kristi have two children (and one dog).
Craig Ziegler, Forester
A native of Arizona, Craig Ziegler is a 1976 graduate of the University of Arizona with a BS in Watershed Management. His degree included an emphasis in Forest Management. Ziegler began federal service with the USDA Forest Service in 1976. Shortly thereafter, he began his career working for the then Soil Conservation Service in central Texas. A move to east Texas for ten years included positions as a forester as well as a district conservationist in 3 field offices. In January 1989, Ziegler accepted the position of area forester and moved with his family to Bend, OR. In 1996, he accepted the position of OR state staff forester and held that position until taking the position of forester on the Core Team of the West National Technology Support Center in March, 2010.
Charles Zuller, Environmental Engineer
Charles Zuller arrives at the WNTSC from the Mississippi State Conservation Engineer's staff in Jackson, MS. He received a BS in General Agriculture from Tennessee Tech (1978) and a BS in Agricultural Engineering (1984) from the University of Tennessee. In addition he has a MS in Engineering (Environmental) from Mississippi State University (2003). Charles has been with NRCS since 1976, working in Tennessee (Project Engineer), Missouri (Agricultural Engineer), Mississippi (Planning Engineer), Mariana Islands (Project Engineer), and Mississippi (Environmental Engineer) Charles and his lovely wife Susie are originally from Tennessee.
Stefanie Aschmann, Leader, Energy Technology Development Team
Stefanie Aschmann began her Federal career as a Soil Conservationist with the Navy Department in Oceanside, California, Washington, DC and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In 1992 she joined the West National Technical Center as a Conservation Agronomist. From 1996-2004 she served as the Agro-ecologist on the Watershed Science Institute, returning to Portland in November, 2004 to lead the newly-formed Energy Technology Development Team. She grew up in California and has a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, a Master of Science degree in Forest Biology from the University of Washington, and a PhD in Agronomy from the University of Maryland.
Greg Johnson, Leader, Air Quality and Atmospheric Change Technology Development Team
Dr. Greg Johnson became Leader of the Air Quality and Atmospheric Change Team in October, 2004. He oversees air quality and atmospheric change technology development and integration in the NRCS. Greg formerly served as the NRCS Applied Climatologist at the National Water and Climate Center in Portland for seven years, where he was project leader of several climate-related programs for the agency. From 1991 to 1997 Greg was a Research Meteorologist with the Agricultural Research Service in Boise, Idaho, where he performed hydro-meteorological research at the Northwest Watershed Research Center. The 12 years prior to his ARS service were spent in Raleigh, North Carolina where Greg was a USDA Agricultural Meteorologist at North Carolina State University. At NCSU Greg helped start the North Carolina Agricultural Weather Program. He lived in Raleigh for nearly 12 years, and in 1991 he earned his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from NCSU. Dr. Johnson is an Oregon native, growing up on a small farm near Eugene, and attending Oregon State University. He received his B.S. in Atmospheric Science from OSU in 1977, and his M.S. in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1979.
Adam Chambers, Air Quality Scientist
Dr. Adam Chambers has fifteen years of experience working in air quality, atmospheric change, and energy conservation, including positions with the EPA and the DOE-National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Washington DC; the Jefferson County (Louisville), Kentucky, Air Pollution Control District; the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria; and, most recently, with the International Resources Group of MPRI in Washington, DC. Over the past nine years Adam has been heavily involved in air pollution, greenhouse gas, and energy assessment at both the international and national levels, with particular focus on India, China, and Pakistan. He holds a Doctorate of Natural Sciences from the Vienna University of Technology; a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; and a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Murray State University in Kentucky. A native of Calloway County, Kentucky, Adam has an agricultural background and lived on a small farm with his wife and daughter in Prospect, KY until relocating to Portland in August of 2010.
Susan O'Neill, Physical Scientist
Dr. Susan O'Neill joined the Air Quality and Atmospheric Change Team in October 2005 as an Air Quality Scientist. Previously she was a Research Air Quality Engineer with the USDA Forest Service, Atmosphere and Fire Interaction Research and Engineering (AirFIRE) Team in Seattle, Washington. With the AirFIRE Team she was the Development Team Leader for the BlueSky Smoke Prediction System, a system designed to predict PM2.5 concentrations from prescribed fires and wildfires. Susan has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, M.S. in Environmental Engineering, and Ph.D in Civil Engineering. Since 1994 she has focused on air quality modeling, first designing an instantaneous plume dispersion model as part of her M.S. work at Montana Tech, then applying the Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling system to the Pacific Northwest to evaluate its' performance predicting ozone and aerosol concentrations as part of her dissertation at Washington State University. She also has five years experience as a software engineer and holds a minor in Computer Science.
Greg Zwicke, Air Quality Engineer
Greg Zwicke joined the Air Quality and Atmospheric Change Team in September 2005 as an Air Quality Engineer with a primary focus on air emissions associated with animal operations. Greg grew up on a small farm and ranch operation near New Berlin, TX, and received BS and MS degrees in Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&M University with a focus on environmental engineering and air quality. Prior to joining NRCS, Greg worked for an air quality consulting firm assisting industrial facilities, including those in the agriculture and forest products industries, with air quality regulatory compliance issues. Greg is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia and a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. He lives in Hillsboro with his wife, son, daughter, and dog.
Shaun McKinney, Leader, Water Quality and Quantity Technology Development Team
Shaun McKinney comes to the West National Technology Support Center from the US Forest Service where he most recently was a Branch Chief responsible for managing national technology development and information systems for water quality, hydrology, and air issues. In that position he supervised 35 water and air specialists in addition to computer software developers and an annual budget of 15 million dollars. Prior to this position which he has held for the last six years, he was a fisheries biologist/hydrologist working on major assessment projects and river restoration projects. He has extensive experience with hydrologic analyses and geomorphology as well as water quality monitoring and modeling. Shaun received a BS from Michigan State University in Fisheries Science and a MS at Oregon State University in Aquatic Science. He lives in Canby with his wife Cindy and their two children.
Joseph K. Bagdon, Pest Management Specialist
Joe Bagdon brings 20 years of pest management experience to the National Water Quality and Quantity Technology Development Team. He is located in Amherst, MA at the Massachusetts NRCS State Office. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Plant and Soil Sciences in 1980. He ran a small vegetable, tobacco and dairy farm before he began his career with the Soil Conservation Service in 1985. He spent two years as a County Executive Director for the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service and then came back to the Soil Conservation Service as a Soil Conservationist. He continued on as a Resource Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service and then became the Project Leader for NAPRA: National Agricultural Pesticide Risk Analysis. Since 1994, Joe has served as a national Pest Management Specialist and he has helped develop and deliver Nutrient and Pest Management Considerations in Conservation Planning training, CORE 4 training, and Conservation Boot Camp training. Joe is responsible for NRCS pest management related technology and technical policy. He represents NRCS on the Federal IPM Coordinating Committee and works with CSREES, ARS, EPA and the pesticide industry to help coordinate NRCS activities in the pest management arena. His main focus is to provide technology support to NRCS field staff nationwide so they can evaluate the environmental risks of pest management activities and recommend appropriate mitigation in the conservation planning process.
Freda Brown, Program Assistant
Freda came into the Federal Government as a High School, Stay in School Student. She started working for the House and Urban Development (HUD) in 1975 as a Summer Aide. After Graduating from High School she attended the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, DC, in which she received an Associate Degree in Computer Science and Technology, while still at the same time was working part-time with the USDA Federal Crop Insurance Corporation from 1977 until 1981. While continuing to work at USDA, she worked full-time with the Office of the General Counsel (Foreign Agriculture & Commodity Stabilization Division, from 1981 until 1985. Once Freda finished college she became a full time Secretary for the Office of Grants and Program System (Competitive Research Grants) from 1985 until 1990. From 1990 to present, she has served in the capacity as Secretary, Program Assistant, and Office Assistant in various offices within SCS/NRCS. Freda gained a wealth of experience in Administrative Concepts and Practices through her job experiences as Secretary for the Conservation Engineering Division (CED), and Program Assistant to the National Water and Climate Center (NWCC), now presently working with the West National Technology Support Center (Beltsville, MD East). During Freda's career she gained extensive knowledge by attending various training courses and self-development conferences. Presently Freda has 30 years of service in the Federal Government.
Chris Gross, Nutrient Management Specialist
Working out of Beltsville, MD, as a National Nutrient Management Specialist, Chris Gross leads nutrient management technology tool development efforts for the Water Quality and Quantity National Technology Development Team. Chris has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy-Soil Science (1985) and a Master of Science in Agronomy Environmental Non-point Source Pollution (1989), both from the University of Maryland, College Park. Chris also spent five years as a faculty research technician conducting water quality related field and laboratory research. He is a certified professional soil scientist, and a certified Nutrient Management Consultant. Chris grew up spending summers on the family dairy / hog / cash grain farm in Wenings, Germany. He began his USDA career with Maryland SCS in 1989 as the agency's first Nutrient Management Specialist. Other positions have included Water Quality Demonstration Project Leader, State Water Quality Specialist, State Agronomist, Acting National Plant Materials Center Director, and Acting National Nutrient Management Specialist in NRCS National Headquarters. In his current position, Chris is responsible for NRCS nutrient management related technology tools, policy, and conservation practice standards. Chris works jointly and cooperatively with other federal agencies, private industry, and land grant university partners on many technology tools, including MMP, SNMP, PI, N-Index, LI, AWM, NLEAP, EQIP / CSP water quality eligibility tools, Energy Estimator Nitrogen, and NTT. Along with technology development responsibilities, Chris has also developed and presented nationwide training to NRCS and many conservation partners on technology tools, nutrient management, energy, and water quality risk assessment. Chris resides in Ellicott City, Maryland with his wife Debbie and three children, Jessica, Julia, and Nicholas.
Eric Hesketh, Soil Scientist
Eric Hesketh is the Soil Scientist and Pest Management Specialist for the Water Quality and Quantity Team of the West National Technology Support Center. He is the lead technical expert and developer for the Windows Pesticide Screening Tool (WIN-PST). He also is involved with the development of the Nitrogen Trading Tool (NTT) and the development of other conservation technology tools. Eric received his Bachelor of Science in Plant Science in 1982 and his Master of Science in Plant Science in 1986 from the University of Rhode Island. As a graduate student, he worked as an IPM scout, Plant Protection Clinic Technician, and Guest Lecturer for the Master Gardener Program.
He served as a Research Assistant for the Plant Nutrition Laboratory at the University of Rhode Island from 1986 to 1987. He did post graduate work towards his Doctorate at the University of Massachusetts and was a graduate teaching assistant at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture. His expertise includes computer modeling, agrichemical fate, and soils. He began working at NRCS (then SCS) in 1992 as a Soil Conservationist with the National Agricultural Risk Analysis Project. He later became the project Soil Scientist. Eric has written chapters for the NEDC Nutrient and Pest Management Considerations in Pest Management course as well as being an instructor. He has also been involved in the development and teaching of NRCS's Conservation Boot Camp. He is the primary contact for WIN-PST technical issues and is the lead trainer for the technology. Eric has a Black Belt in Songahm Tae Kwon Do and is an instructor at and webmaster for his school in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. He is also an avid beekeeper. The bears have gotten to the hives the past few years so he has not seen the ravages of colony collapse as of yet. He has seen what hungry black bears can do to wooden hives.
Harbans Lal, Environmental Engineer
Harbans Lal joined the Water Quality and Quantity Team of the West Technology Support Center in Oct. 2006 with a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering and over 30 years of experience in natural resource management. He is passionate about environmentally-friendly agriculture that can provide food, fiber and fuel for the world population with a minimum impact to our environment.
Harbans has worked with agricultural systems around the globe including India, Brazil, and the United States. As a private consultant, he has contracted with several federal agencies including the US-EPA, the US Forest Service, the OR/WA Bureau of Land Management, and the USDA-NRCS. For the USDA-NRCS, he developed CNMPs (Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans) to assess and control environmental risks of animal waste from the confined animal feeding operations. For others, he designed and implemented natural resources information systems using GIS and other state-of-the-art information technologies. These projects helped develop and implement water quality and quantity strategies for healthy watersheds. A few of his contributions include the LOADSS-Lake Okeechobee Decision Support System, the AEGIS-Agricultural and Environmental Geographic Information System, and the NRIS-Natural Resources Information System of the US-Forest Service.
He has authored and co-authored several technical bulletins, operation manuals, and refereed and non-refereed journal articles. Among other national level projects, Harbans is currently engaged in developing tools and techniques for estimating nutrient (nitrogen, phosphorus, temperature) credits to promote trading programs for market-based approaches to ecosystem management.
William Merkel, Hydraulic Engineer
Bill started his career with the Soil Conservation Service in 1969 as an engineering student trainee in Dayton, Ohio. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1973 and a Master of Science in Water Resources Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975, he joined the SCS Watershed Planning Staff in Columbus, Ohio. Bill transferred to the Watershed Planning Staff in Reno, Nevada to work on the Colorado River Salinity Control Project, stormwater management evaluations, and Flood Insurance Studies. In Davis, California, he participated in two watershed planning efforts. One of these in the San Jose area has been constructed and is currently in operation. At the Hydrology Unit in Washington, DC, he developed and supported hydrologic, hydraulic, and erosion modeling efforts. He has been involved in developing, updating, and supporting TR-20, TR-55, WSP-2, WEPP, EGEM, AnnAGNPS, and Engineering Field Handbook Chapter 2 (Estimating Runoff and Peak Discharge). In 1989, Bill transferred to Fort Worth, Texas to be the Hydraulic Engineer on the South National Technical Center. There he provided technical support and training to hydraulic engineers throughout the southern states and Caribbean Area as well as contributing to several interdisciplinary teams within the SNTC. When the South NTC was reorganized, Bill joined the National Water and Climate Center. He has been the team leader for the Hydrology Team of the NWCC and National Water Quality and Quantity Technology Development Team for 7 years. Bill has participated in technology exchanges with Germany (water quality modeling) and China (soil erosion modeling). His current professional interests are hydrologic and hydraulic modeling using GIS, rainfall frequency and storm analysis, flood routing, and unit hydrographs. He has authored and co-authored papers and technical reports covering flood plain management, flood routing techniques, unit hydrograph analysis, dam break routing, ephemeral gully erosion, and hydrologic modeling with GIS.
Helen Fox Moody, Hydraulic Engineer
Helen began her career with the Soil Conservation Service in 1974 after earning degrees at the University of Michigan (B.A. Physical Geography, B.S. Astronomy) and The Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D., Fluvial Geomorphology). She worked in the SCS Maryland State Office on the Watershed Planning, the Design, and the Water Resources Staffs as a hydrologist and an engineer. In 1989 she transferred to the Hydrology Unit in Washington DC. With the agency reorganization in 1995 she became a member of the National Water and Climate Center Staff, and was realigned into the West Technical Service Center in 2005. Helen has worked in various aspects of hydraulics and hydrology. In Maryland she worked on Watershed Planning Projects and Environmental Assessments, Floodplain Management Studies, Fema Floodplain Delineation Studies, regional unit hydrograph development, storm water management pond evaluation, and Detention Pond Projects. She has since been involved in the development of the SITES, WinTR-20, WinTR-55, EGEM, and EFH2 computer programs as a developer and as a tester, and has worked with rainfall frequency and distribution studies. She is a Professional Hydrologist in the American Institute of Hydrology (#268), and a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the American Association of Geographers (AAG). She lives in Maryland with her husband, son, dogs, and a flock of Zebra Finches.
Dan Moore, Hydraulic Engineer
A 1980 graduate of Georgia Tech in Civil Engineering, Dan began his career working for Boeing in Seattle as a structural engineer on the 767 commercial aircraft. Having also worked for the Corps of Engineers in Memphis Tennessee as a co-op student in hydraulics, he returned to the Corps in Los Angeles in 1984. Including a one-year stint as a Regional Hydraulic Engineer with the Federal Highway Administration, Dan now has over 25 years of experience in hydraulics and hydrology, and holds a professional engineering license for the states of California and Oregon. Dan's technical work with the Corps included flood analyses, such as 100-year floodplain determination for the mighty Los Angeles River through the San Gabriel Valley urban area. He designed an innovative flood protection barrier to protect Redlands CA from boulder-laden floods coming down out of the steep San Bernardino Mountains. He analyzed the tide-influenced system of canals and pump stations draining the floodprone coastal city of Huntington Beach. Joining SCS in Portland in 1991, Dan has been the Columbia River Basin river flow forecaster, which included snowpack analysis for over 180 river gages. His current activities include technical development of the watershed model AGNPS. He added a major model enhancement, enabling snowpack accumulation and melt, as well as the freeze-thaw process in soil. He serves on the HecRas support team, providing training and project support. Dan has also been upgrading the climate data generation model GEM6.
Clare Prestwich, Irrigation Engineer
As the Irrigation Engineer on the National Water Quality and Quantity Technical Development Team Clare brings twenty four years of experience to the job. He started with NRCS (then SCS) in Roosevelt Utah field office, as Project Engineer on the Unitah Basin Colorado River Salinity Project. He has since served as an Area Engineer in Cedar City, Utah, the Utah State Irrigation Engineer, in Salt Lake City, and the Idaho State Irrigation Engineer in Twin Falls, Idaho. Clare holds both a BS and MS in Agricultural and Irrigation Engineering from Utah State University in Logan Utah. He is a member of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and is an Irrigation Association Certified Teacher. His Professional Engineer license is for the State of Utah, and he is a Certified Agricultural Irrigation Specialist (CAIS).
Quan D. Quan, Hydraulic Engineer
Quan began his career with the Soil Conservation Service in 1991 after earning a BS in Agricultural Engineering at Oregon State University. He has completed 12 credit hours towards a Masters in Agricultural Engineering also at Oregon State University. After working in the Madras, Oregon Field Office as a Field Engineer, Quan was transferred in 1995 to Medford, Oregon to serve as a Basin Engineer (Southwest Basin and High Desert Basin). His career then took him to the Arizona State Office, in 1998 as State Hydraulic Engineer on the Watershed Planning Team. He remained in Arizona until 2001 when he joined the staff of the Hydraulics and Hydrology Team on the National Water and Climate Center (NWCC) in Portland, Oregon but he is stationed in Beltsville, Maryland. In 2005, due to realignment with the agency, he was reassigned to the National Water Quality and Quantity Technology Development Team which is part of the West National Technical Support Center (WNTSC) in Portland, Oregon. Quan remains stationed in Beltsville, Maryland. He has been involved in the development, updating, and support of WinTR-55, WinTR-20, WinPond, Hydraulics Formula, EFH2 (Estimating Runoff and Peak Discharge), Sites, and AnnAGNPS. He serves on the WinTR-20, WinTR-55, Sites, WinPond, AnnAGNPS and HecRas support team providing training and technical support. Since 2004, Quan has served as a National Engineering Specialist and he has helped develop and deliver Engineering Week at the National Conservation Boot Camp training. He lives in Laurel, Maryland with his wife Karen and their two children (Melyssa and Brandon).
W. Barry Southerland, Fluvial Geomorphologist
Barry comes to the WNTSC from the Spokane, WA State Office where he served in various positions with the NRCS including: soil conservationist, stream geomorphologist, and watershed planner. Barry has served 25 years with various federal agencies in the field of natural resource sciences. Twenty-four of 27 years of federal career service, has been with the NRCS. Previous to 1991 most of his NRCS (SCS) work was at field office positions such as soil conservationist, supervisory soil conservationist, team leader, and hydrologic unit (watershed) project coordinator. Barry completed and received his Ph.D. (NRCS Graduate Studies Program) in fluvial geomorphology at Washington State University in October of 2003. He also has MPA, BS, and AA degrees in natural resource science fields. Barrys principle expertise is geomorphic river restoration: training, analysis, planning, design, and implementation. He has completed numerous river restoration recommendations, designs, and other watershed-based studies.
Fred Theurer, Agricultural Engineer
Fred has been involved with agricultural watershed engineering since well before the Soil Conservation Service changed names and became NRCS. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 1959 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. During his junior and senior years he worked for the Maryland Work Plan Party under the tutelage of the state Hydraulic Engineer. Upon graduation and, after a short stint with the California Department of Water Resources, he joined SCS in 1960 and has been with us ever since. Fred completed his Masters in Stream Mechanics at Colorado State University in 1974, and his Ph.D. in Hydraulics at that same institution in 1975. In addition to fourteen years of engineering and watershed planning work experience, more than six years were spent as the Head of the ADP Unit at the Northeast National Technical Center (NNTC). The position included complete responsibility for all computer program and related model development for the NNTC region. Several model-related computer programs were developed during this period. The years since graduate school have been spent working in an inter-institutional environment on computer model development. In addition to sometimes having to work alone, the development efforts more often required working with other scientists including soil scientists, engineers, biologists, and economists. The model development included working with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA-Forest Service, USDI- Fish & Wildlife Service, USDI-Geological Survey, USDI-Bureau of Land Management, and USDI-Bureau of Reclamation. Currently serving as the NRCS AGNPS Project Manager of a multi-agency (NRCS & ARS) & multi-disciplinary (engineers, agronomists, geologists, soil scientists, & other disciplines) team which has converted the ARS single-event AGNPS (AGricultural Non-Point Source Pollution) computer model into the continuous simulation model AnnAGNPS (Annualized AGNPS) and, in addition to the development of many new features for AnnAGNPS, has developed or assisted with the development of several other models that have been included into a suite of environmental-related computer models for AGNPS. AnnAGNPS is designed to be used for risk analysis of the effects of conservation practices on surface runoff loadings (water, sediment, nutrients, & pesticides).
Pat Willey, Wetland/Drainage Engineer
Pat has been the Drainage and Wetlands Engineer on the National Water Quality and Quantity Technical Development Team since 1996. He has over thirty years of experience in irrigation, drainage, and related sciences. His career began in the Flagstaff, AZ Field Office as an Engineering Technician. He later moved Indio, CA to serve as Field Office Engineer and Area Irrigation Engineer, and to Oregon where he served as Area Engineer in Baker, Oregon, and then as Oregon State Irrigation Engineer in Portland. Pat holds a BS in Watershed-Hydrology from the University of Arizona, and a BS in Agricultural Engineering from California Polytechnic State University. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Oregon.