In my professional life, Site-specific design and construction projects were the focus of my early work as a Registered Landscape Architect. Campus planning, regional-scale land-use design and planning broadened the mix.
For the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), serving Maine to W. Virginia, my design and construction experience led to project and budget management of three, multimillion-dollar visitor centers – including consultant selection and management, and supervision of in-house architects and engineers. Knowledge of project management from start to finish can be applied to any capital project.
My experience and interest in natural resource planning was utilized by the USFWS to author comprehensive management plans for National Wildlife Refuges. I honed my outreach efforts and meeting facilitation skills by gathering, orchestrating, and presenting sometimes testy public input regarding access to public lands and facilities. This input was then incorporated into management objectives. I also facilitated collection and organization of scientific data and wildlife experts’ knowledge into final habitat management plans. A large proportion of Amherst’s land base is conservation land; effective management can support climate change goals.
A career switch to UMass Campus Planning division in 2007 meant my “field work” was all within walking distance! At a campus scale, my team recommended facility needs and reuse opportunities for growing/shifting departments – through both new construction and renovation of existing facilities. Once again, my interpersonal skills came in handy as we sorted through and balanced competing space needs. Listening carefully to all sides helped me develop equitable solutions. Amherst is faced with shifting school populations where reapportionment of existing space in our public buildings may create opportunities; I am ready for that discussion.