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Leadership Blog Part 15: Connecting with Our Community

Recently I reflected on Tony Hiss’s book In Motion – The Experience of Travel. Hiss talks about the experience of deep travel. The point of travel is more than getting from point A to point B; it is first and foremost an experience, the experience of traveling to planned destinations. And then it is something more – the experience of the unplanned encounters and realizations along the way. We can teach ourselves to have more deep travel moments – both far from home and close to it and within our community. We can learn the human dimension of travel and our emotions associated with the travel choices we make. Creating livable, integrated communities that preserve, in fact enhance, our quality of place is a collective, collaborative process, and it takes all of us to realize its far-reaching benefits. 

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Leadership Blog Part 14: The Ecology of Place

How often do we consider our relationship to place? How often is it foremost in our minds and hearts that we belong to and are being shaped by a specific place? We are truly in relationship with the landscape, both the built and natural landscape. Whether we know it or not, ours is a conscious and subconscious decision to be here; here in a place that reflects the emotional landscape we move through.

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Leadership Blog Part 13: Environmental Professionals Day 2021

Last year as COVID restrictions were being initiated throughout the world, NAEP had just shifted from an in-person conference format to a remote conference. At that time, scientists were not being held in high regard in many venues. NAEP was very concerned about how as an organization we were going to navigate this new paradigm of helping our members stay engaged and informed considering all of the changes and uncertainties. Our jobs are critical for public health and safety as well as delivering solutions for the delivery of infrastructure. A conversation with David Bancroft, Executive Director of the International Association of Impact Assessment, about the challenges of engaging our professionals sparked an idea of running a social media event of "Thank an Environmental Professional Day". NAEP and IAIA did a media blast which was well received.

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Environmental Professionals Day 2021

Environmental Professionals Day has been established worldwide on Thursday, April 15 to recognize all the hard work that these individuals do every day to create a more just and sustainable world for all living things. The day has been initiated by a consortium of organizations including the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP), International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA), New Zealand Association for Impact Assessment (NZAIA), IAIA - South Africa (IAIAsa), Sociedad Peruana de Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental (SPEIA), IAIA – Ghana (IAIA-Ghana), Korean Society of Environmental Impact Assessment (KSEIA), Consejo Mexicano para la Evaluación de Impactos (COMIMPACT), Association for EIA of Nigeria (AEIAN), Ontario Association for Impact Assessment (OAIA), L’Association québécoise pour l’évaluation d’impact (AQÉI), IAIA - Western & Northern Canada (IAIA-WNC), and Portuguese Association for Impact Assessment (APAI).

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Leadership Blog Part 11: Introducing Environmental Professionals Radio (EPR)

NAEP has a podcast and I love it. Environmental Professionals Radio (EPR) is out now, wherever you get your podcasts (please subscribe!). Full disclosure, I am one of the hosts and therefore biased, but I honestly can’t help but smile when I click the Zoom link and start talking to my new friend and co-host, Laura Thorne. Chemistry is something that is impossible to fake and I worried when she pitched the idea to me that we’d struggle to figure that out. I don’t want to make it sound easy (the effort it takes to put on 30 minutes of content once a week is almost exponentially more than I expected) but we are two environmental enthusiasts that enjoy having a conversation about almost anything so it just works.

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Leadership Blog Part 12: Weather Forecast - Visibility limited, extremely variable weather pattern with numerous storm fronts expected in 2021

I am not sure how many zoom meetings, webinars or casual conversations I have had over the past few weeks in which a question has been raised about what does the election mean for environmental professionals in 2021. For the past three years, NAEP has been keeping our professionals up to date with Advanced NEPA Workshops, 10 webinars a year, the NAEP annual conferences, Eblasts, quarterly editions of the Environmental Professionals Bulletin, NEPA/Cultural Resources/Biological Resources working groups, and responding to rule making so that our members have the tools to do their jobs of assessing the environmental effects using science so that the decision makers can make informed decisions. What do I see for 2021? Uncertainty! I do see a positive trend that the new administration is supportive of addressing climate change and basing decisions using science. The new administration’s transition team includes professionals with longtime experience in CEQ. I am hoping that the result is that the scientists, planners and engineers will be part of creating solutions to some of our critical environmental challenges. I do think that NAEP is going to be very busy in 2021 tracking ongoing litigation, proposed legislation, and rule making to ensure that our members have the information in a timely manner to do our jobs. 

Leadership Blog Part 9: Reclaiming Our Environmental Imagination (from Thoreau to NEPA)

In the mid-19th century, Henry David Thoreau wrote, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” This thought marked the beginning of this country’s literary American Renaissance and it became the cornerstone of America’s environmental consciousness. America’s heritage is rich in its regard to the environment. We all associate Thoreau with Walden Pond, and the year spent in a small cabin in the woods near the pond shore. Those of us who have visited Concord, Massachusetts know that Walden Pond is only about a mile from downtown Concord. We also know that about every other day Thoreau walked into town to get provisions, call on friends, or have dinner with his parents. But the words he wrote while living at Walden Pond have inspired us all. Thoreau was one of the first writers to describe his experience with Nature; to experience its beauty, its strength, and the wisdom that comes to you in moments of quiet reflection.

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Leadership Blog Part 10: Reclaiming Our Environmental Imagination (NEPA at 50 and beyond)

During the decade of the 1960’s and 1970’s, there were many literary figures writing of the simplicity, the beauty, and the spiritual depth of Nature, giving us vivid imagery that represented our emotional landscape.  For example, Theodore Roethke’s The Far Field that included the wonderful “North American Sequence,” was published in 1964 and instantly won the National Book Award for that year.  Mary Oliver, one of the finest nature poets to have ever lived (Oliver passed away in January 2019), published American Primitive in 1978 to much literary acclaim, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

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Leadership Blog Part 8: Living Ethically

One of the human attributes that I absolutely believe in is a code of ethics or standard by which to live – professionally and personally. NAEP expects environmental professionals to live by their “Code of Ethics and Standards for Practice for Environmental Professionals.” As an organization IdAEP, the Idaho Chapter of NAEP, adopted this code of ethics and standards and, consequently, we have the same expectation for our chapter members. 

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NAEP Comments on CEQ Proposed Revisions to NEPA Regulations

On March 10, 2020, NAEP submitted comments to the Council on Environmental Quality on CEQ’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking revising its regulations for implementing the procedural requirements of NEPA. The proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on January 10, 2020, and the comment period closed on March 10. These comments include contributions from several NAEP members and were discussed during the February 19 meeting of the NEPA Practice.

Read NAEP's Comments
Read the Proposed Rulemaking

Leadership Blog Part 7: Environmental Professional Values

What does the term “Environmental Professional” mean to you? I recently met a person actively engaged in urban planning, green activism, and urban forestry in a government role that didn’t consider himself an environmental professional. This got me thinking, is being an environmental professional determined by a certification, a certain type of job, or a mindset? 

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2018 Annual NEPA Report Available

The National Association of Environmental Professionals' (NAEP's) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Practice is pleased to present our eleventh NEPA Annual Report. This report contains summaries of NEPA developments during 2018 as well as the NEPA Practice’s efforts for the past year. This annual report is prepared and published through the initiative and volunteer efforts of members of the NAEP’s NEPA Practice.

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Leadership Blog Part 6: The Value of Volunteering and Leadership

Our life together as environmental professionals is certainly a given. There are, from the onset, common bonds because of the professional work that we do. As we grow in our careers we realize the importance of giving our volunteer time to an association we align with and believe in. For most of us that association is NAEP. The reward is more than volunteer positions standing out on our resume, more than showing commitment to our respective environmental field. For those of us that belong to NAEP and/or a NAEP Chapter, we know that our NAEP friends, especially those that take on volunteer and leadership positions, hold for one another an inexplicable, sometimes unexplainable, caring for each other. It’s a caring that transcends our professionalism, our commitment to NAEP and the environmental professions. Below are what I call value statements that hopefully bring meaning to the intent and spirit of getting involved and staying involved in NAEP and its Chapters:

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Leadership Blog Part 5: Notes from NAEP President, Betty Dehoney

I do not know about many of you, but my academic training was as a biologist and the course work needed for my degree did not include leadership. My experience has been gained more associated with boots on the ground vs academic training. Being an analytical individual, I tried to see what worked and what did not work. There were a lot of leadership books out there that I read (some good and some not so good) and tested some of the concepts. Some concepts worked and some did not. Some of the things that I have tested and seem to be beneficial are as follows:

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At-Large Board Member Self Nominations Are Now Available

Submit your nominations for the 2020 At-Large Board Members. Make sure to submit your nomination by 8:30 AM PT on November 25, 2019

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Be a Reviewer for the National Science Foundation

On behalf of the National Science Foundation (NSF), we invite you to register as a potential reviewer for the 2020 Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and STEM Education at accredited, non-profit US institutions of higher education. See the Program Solicitation, NSF 19-590 for more details on GRFP. NSF seeks a diverse mix of researchers and educators from a wide range of institutions, geographic locations, and disciplinary and interdisciplinary backgrounds to serve as reviewers.

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Leadership Blog Part 4: The ‘Nature’ of the ‘Environmental Professional’

The ‘nature’ of the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) – is that of an organization with national and chapter members spread out across a multitude of disciplines, generations, stages of career development, employment, education, and experience. Surprisingly, this diverse membership often comes together ‘under one roof’ to embody the mission of NAEP in developing the highest standards of ethics and proficiency in the environmental professions, and promoting excellence in decision-making related to environmental, social, and economic impacts of those decisions. It is the effort of many ‘individuals’ and ‘thoughtful individual actions’ that bring validity to this organization. In other words, NAEP would not exist without the people who make the difference by ‘living’ their profession and upholding the values and high expectations of NAEP.

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Leadership Blog Part 3: Leadership Now – The Benefits of Volunteering

At the NAEP conference membership meeting in Baltimore I had the privilege to speak to our member professionals about leadership and the benefits of volunteering. I share my thoughts by starting with a quote from the poet David Whyte: “Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born.” (from The House of Belonging).

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NAEP Comments on CEQ Draft Greenhouse Gas - NEPA Guidance

On July 30, 2019, NAEP submitted comments to the Council on Environmental Quality on CEQ's Draft National Environmental Policy Act Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The guidance, once finalized, is intended to replace the 2016 final guidance that was withdrawn in early 2017.

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Environmental Practice: Call for Submissions

We Need You: A Message from the Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Practice

Hi Everyone,

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