Subject Matter Expert: Kate Forester, PLA

Photograph by Stuart Isett. ©2018 Stuart Isett. All rights reserved.

Kate Forester, PLA, is a senior landscape architect at Herrera with 16 years of experience in natural resource management, planning, and design. She manages a wide range of ecological restoration, park, and green stormwater design projects, working closely with clients to reach project goals. Check out Kate’s advice to other environmental professionals below! 

Where do you see the industry going in the future?  

I hope the industry becomes even better at collaboration and integration of different perspectives and ways of finding solutions. We all have some large environmental issues to tackle, and we need to be creative, collaborative, nimble, and compassionate to succeed in addressing these issues.  

What’s the key to building good relationships with clients?  

Deliver high quality work on time and on budget, of course. But also, be honest, responsible, a good listener, and a creative problem solver. Simple, right? 

What skills are necessary to become an effective PM?  

 The skills that help me most are excellent organization, attention to detail, pro-active communication, the ability to prioritize and re-prioritize, provide solid team support, and becoming a solid partner with each client. I am continuing to learn from my success and failures in all of these areas. 

What do you consider to be your biggest professional accomplishment?  

When I started at Herrera, we did not have a licensed landscape architect at the firm. Integrating landscape architecture into our projects was a hope and a dream. We now have a solid landscape architecture design team, and I couldn’t be prouder of our team! 

 What advice do you have for communicating scientific or technical information to the public, organizations, or internal audiences?  

Approach all communication asking, “What is really important?” “Why should someone care about this information?” and “How would I explain this to a family member or friend who knows nothing about my field or line of work?” When we communicate our work, we need to show our passion for the work and demonstrate why it matters. Most importantly, treat everyone with respect and know that everyone we meet comes with their own wisdom and perspective to share.