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Conservation Engineering Staff Responsiblities

Vision:  Excellence in Conservation, by Design

Mission:  Leading innovative engineering solutions to natural resources conservation

Director – Noller P. Herbert, P.E.

  • Leadership and Supervision
  • Engineering policy and direction
  • Engineering advice and guidance to Chief and top leadership
  • USDA Dam Safety Officer
  • NRCS Dam Safety Officer and USDA’s representative on ICODS
  • Engineering job approval authority process
  • National Design, Construction, Soil Mechanics Center
  • National Soil Mechanics Laboratories
  • National Water Management Center
  • Geological Services Unit (GSU)
  • Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG)
  • Water Resources Programs – Emergency Watershed Protection Program,  Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program,  Watershed Surveys and Planning, Watershed Operations , and Watershed Rehabilitation


National Agricultural Engineer – Vacant

  • Engineering leadership for Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG)
  • National Conservation Practice Standards (CPS) (162), plus Interim Practice Standards, and National CPS Data Steward
  • Chair, National Conservation Practice Standards Subcommittee (NCPSS)
  • National Conservation Planning Manual
  • Erosion prediction technology
  • Engineering Business Area Advisory Group (EBAAG)
  • S&T contact for Combined Reviews

National Civil Engineer – David Thackeray, P.E.

  • Engineering policy and directive issues
  • Professional practice and general engineering issues
  • CED budget coordination

National Construction Engineer – David Pacheco, P.E.

  • ASTM and AWWA standards coordination
  • Construction management
  • Maintenance of materials specifications and construction specifications
  • Contract Administration coordination
  • COTAR for watershed planning IDIQ A&E contracts
  • International Erosion Control Association (IECA) Liaison
  • Land Improvement Contractors Association (LICA) Liaison
  • Association of General Contractors (AGC) Liaison
  • Radiation safety coordination

National Design Engineer – Steve Durgin, P.E.

  • Dam safety and dams inventory
  • Engineering job approval
  • ASDSO liaison
  • Design standard variance requests
  • Review of Engineering reports
  • Represents Director on Inter-Agency Committee on Dam Safety (ICODS)
  • Represents Director on National Dam Safety Review Board (NDSRB)
  • Coordinates engineering research activities with Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
  • Represents Director on DHS – National Infra-structure Protection Plan – Dam Sector – Governmental Coordinating Council (GCC)
  • ACI Standards Coordination

National Environmental Engineer – Bill Reck, P.E.

  • Agricultural manure and waste management
  • Manure Management Planning (CNMP)
  • Animal Waste Management Design Software
  • Agricultural Water quality
  • Mortality management
  • Pathogen management 
  • NFWF Chesapeake Bay CIG technical contact
  • USDA-EPA CED liaison
  • Farm Pilot Project coordination
  • Energy coordination (methane conversion, wind, etc.)

National Geologist – Jo Johnson

  • Sedimentation
  • Groundwater
  • Geomorphology
  • Streams and Channels
  • Stream restoration technology and standards
  • Represents USDA on National Dredging Team, with emphasis on coordination of watershed sediment management with beneficial uses of dredged materials from navigation projects
  • Agency Membership on the Advisory Committee for Water Information, Subcommittee on Sedimentation (SOS).
  • Project Manager for Geological Services Unit (GSU), comprised of 32 NRCS geologists in 26 states, providing nationwide services, funded entirely through CED.

National Hydraulic Engineer – Claudia Hoeft, P.E.

  • Hydrology and Hydraulics
  • ARS Hydrology Lab liaison
  • Climate and meteorology
  • Stormwater management
  • Water supply and conservation
  • Member of Advisory Committee on Water Information Subcommittee on Hydrology
  • Represent Director on Department of Homeland Security, National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) Government Coordinating Council—Water Sector
  • American Society of Civil Engineer (ASCE) Watershed Management Technical Committee

National Landscape Architect – Robert Snieckus, A.S.L.A., R.L.A.

  • Community assistance
  • Visual assessment and simulation
  • Soil bioengineering and restoration
  • Stream and wetland restoration 
  • ASLA, ASAE & International Association of Landscape Ecology liaison
  • Technical development of landscape architecture staff
  • Watershed project development review

National Water Management Engineer – Rob Sampson, P.E.

  • Irrigation Water Management
  • Livestock Water Management
  • Drainage Water Management
  • Wetlands Restoration/Creation
  • USDI-Bureau of Reclamation Liaison
  • USDI-Bureau of Indian Affairs Irrigation Liaison
  • USDA-ARS Irrigation liaison
  • Irrigation Association liaison
  • Subcommittee on Water Quality and Availability member
  • Agricultural Drainage Management Systems Task Force co-chair
  • Bridging-the-Headgate Partnership Member
  • 2008 Farm Bill Cost-share program coordination

National Engineering Software Coordinator – Carol Drungil, P.E., Ph.D.
Located in Ft. Collins, CO

  • Engineering Software Development
  • Information Technology Center liaison – S&T deputy area wide
  • Chief’s Cost Savings and Streamlining initiatives (CDSI)
  • Engineering tools integration (GPS, GIS, CAD, CADD)

Program Specialist  – Vacant

  • Budget
  • ROOT Open Obligations

Administrative Assistant – Tyrone Cole

  • Secretary to the Director
  • Correspondence management
  • Office management and scheduling
  • Mail and Travel management 
  • Time and attendance
  • Order forms, publications, and supplies
This reference chart is not a complete list of duties.  The listed items highlight cross-cutting or team leadership responsibilities.