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Ecological Restoration: Evaluation

Betsi Nementh, Ron Deverman, and Tim Kendzia

Monday, May 20
Maryland Room
9:30 AM

About the Session

Ecological Restoration may be considered an art and a science.  Understanding the complexities of natural habitats and food chains is challenging enough; trying to intentionally replicate those elements is especially daunting.  Natural lands do not always follow the predictable patterns of “succession” postulated by earlier generations of ecologists.  Landowners once puzzled why fields of planted tree seedlings did not mature into forests identical to natural forests.  The regulatory requirements for “wetland mitigation” drove experts to prepare plans and specifications for creating and restoring marshes, swamps, and other features once regarded as undesirable wastelands.  Scientists are now attempting to replicate many landscape features once taken for granted.  By attending these sessions, one will gain a greater appreciation of the challenges encountered by ecologists attempting to replicate natural landscape features damaged by development activity.

About the Presenters

Betsi Nemeth

Elizabeth (Betsi) Nemeth is a Senior Technical Director with AKRF who specializes in environmental analysis, permitting, and regulatory compliance for large-scale transportation and infrastructure projects. Ms. Nemeth has more than 20 years’ experience in managing and preparing Environmental Assessments (EAs) and Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) to satisfy National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) guidelines and regulatory requirements. Her expertise includes the analysis of natural resources, water quality, stormwater management, hazardous materials, and waterfront issues. She has specialized in permit procurement and regulatory compliance relating to environmental activities including compliance with various elements of Coastal Zone Management, the Clean Water Act, and Magnuson-Stevens Act. She earned an MS in Geosciences from the University of Florida and BS in Biology from the College of Charleston.

Ron Deverman

Ron Deverman, CEP, is Associate Vice-President and Principal Environmental Planning Manager for HNTB, a national engineering, architecture, and planning firm, managing environmental impact assessment projects for transportation infrastructure improvements such as transit, passenger and freight rail, roadways, and bridges. Ron has over 34-years-experience in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) with special expertise in community impact assessment, cumulative effects analysis, and other federal environmental regulations, such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, National Historic Preservation Act, and Threatened and Endangered Species Act. Ron is currently the Program Manager for IDOT’s Office of Intermodal Project Implementation for the CREATE Program, a program of 70 rail improvement projects in the Chicago area; Ron is managing all activities for Phase I environmental, Phase II design and Phase III construction (see www.createprogram.org). Ron was recently awarded the HNTB Fellow Award for his exemplary commitment and dedication to HNTB and the environmental planning professions.

Tim Kendzia

Tim Kendzia is a graduate student at American Public University System (APUS). His academic pursuits are to understand and initiate changes that restore ecological systems. He holds a degree in Environmental Science (B.S.) and is working towards a graduate degree in Environmental Policy and Management. At APUS he has been the president of the NAEP student chapter. He has 4 years of practical experience in analyzing energy systems to improve their sustainability; one position involved regional energy planning and policy development.