Subject Matter Expert: Rob Zisette


Rob Zisette is an aquatic science principal with 38 years of experience specializing in surface water management, including water quality assessments, stormwater management plans, aquatic plant management studies, lake restoration projects, and environmental impact statements. Check out Rob's advice to fellow environmental professionals below!

What has been your favorite project and why? 

“It is hard to pick a favorite project because I have been fortunate to work on many interesting water and sediment quality projects. The Green Lake water quality projects are probably my favorite because they have been so interesting, challenging, and successful over the past 30 years. I am proud to have led efforts that have effectively improved water quality in this highly used and impacted urban lake.”

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

“Frequent and honest communication. I would add that applying good science and communicating that in a clear way has been very effective at gaining client trust, which is the ultimate key to a good relationship.” 

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

“Do not dumb it down but be sure to include the big picture. Trust that the audience is smart and if they don’t get the details and care, then they will ask for an explanation. Do not present information without an explanation of why the information matters.”

What methods have you found useful when collecting, synthesizing, analyzing, managing, and reporting environmental data? 

“It is important to prepare detailed monitoring plans that clearly show how the methods will best meet the objectives, make sure your design includes enough data to yield statistically significant results, and provide regular oversight of that monitoring to be sure the plans are properly implemented or updated. Be sure to present data graphically for meaningful interpretation and I love box plots.”