With over 30 years of experience in natural resource assessments and restoration, Herrera Senior Biologist Sue Wall is a professional wetland scientist and an expert in working clients to restore ecosystems across the Pacific Northwest. Check out her advice to other environmental professionals below!
How has the industry changed since you started?
The technology has changed so much! I came into the job not even knowing what a “server” was, and now we have the Cloud. The GPS and ArcGIS data collection is so much more streamlined. In my Montana corner of the environmental consulting industry, I’ve seen ups and downs, slumps and booms, lots of company mergers and name changes. One of the most inspiring changes has been how our industry is responding to the urgency of climate change in creative and meaningful ways (especially Herrera!).
What has been your favorite project and why?
The Dutchman wetland delineation project was a three-week project to map wetlands for a mitigation project on about 1800 acres with a fen (unique peat-forming wetland), and rare plants and springs. It was a wetland scientists dream with an amazing team of Herrerans. We rented a house in Anaconda and different staff took turns helping out each week. The grand finale was a trip to Butte for the Evil Knievel festival featuring a Kiss cover band!
My other favorite project was another big team effort doing rare plant surveys for a proposed new Bonneville Power Administration transmission line in Clark and Cowlitz Counties. Herrera sponsored a plant ID class and brought in a couple of crack shot botanists to help and we went on field trips to see rare plant populations. It was fantastic to see such a range of environments and work with my smart, funny colleagues who are as into geeking out on plants as me.
What advice would you give your younger self?
When in doubt, call. Whether it is to talk to a client or coworker don’t be hesitant – so many things can be cleared up with a conversation, and it helps to build relationships.