April 13 | 2:15 PM - 3:30 PM ET
Panel: Lessons Learned and Insights from Young Professionals in the Job Market
Dr. Erfan Goharian
University of South Carolina College of Engineering and Computing
Dr. Erfan Goharian’s research focuses on applying systems thinking and Artificial Intelligence to support integrated management of water resources. He develops complex quantitative and computational models with the purpose of providing enhanced knowledge needed to better understand interactions in coupled human-natural systems and water-energy-food nexus, and how they are shaped by climate, environmental, economic, social and political changes. Before joining University of South Carolina, he was leading the research on re-operation of integrated water systems in California as a part of University of California Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative (UC Water). Dr. Goharian holds a Ph.D. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering with emphasize on Water Resources Management from the University of Utah. Beyond his technical background, he has experience working in collaborations across institutions and disciplinary boundaries.
Engineer | Regulation Division
Southwest Florida Water Management District
Brandee currently works as a water resource engineer with the Southwest Florida Water Management District. There, she evaluates stormwater designs for residential, commercial, and municipal developments to ensure proposed works meet state water quality and quantity standards for 16 counties in the southwest Florida region. Her work supports the District’s mission of managing stormwater, maintaining crucial floodplain, and preserving Florida’s wetlands, rivers and other water resources. Prior to moving to Florida and taking on her role with the District, Brandee attended Oregon State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Ecological Engineering.
Water Resources Engineer/Resilience Specialist
Travis Flowers is an alum of Howard University’s College of Engineering and Architecture, from Montego Bay, Jamaica with bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is currently a Water Resources Engineer at Jacobs, based in Tampa FL, and has a passion for building a resilient and sustainable future for all.
Allison Lewis is a Professional Engineer and Project Technologist with six years of experience at Jacobs Engineering specializing in Natural Treatment Systems for wastewater, stormwater, and minewater. She is an ecological engineer with a passion for improving water quality through the design, construction, restoration, and management of ecosystems that integrate human society with its natural environment for the benefit of both. Allison specializes in natural treatment systems technology with experience in the design, permitting, and construction of treatment wetlands, biochemical reactors, and beneficial water reuse systems. Her experience also includes pilot studies, ecological monitoring and assessments, services during construction, public involvement, and project management. Allison also serves on the Executive Committee as Secretary for the Florida Section of the American Water Resources Association.
BBA Water Consultants
Annabelle is a hydrogeologist at BBA Water Consultants, a water resource consulting firm in Denver. Essentially, she supports clients ranging from ranchers to municipalities in maintaining their water supplies and water rights. She specializes in ground water geology and well design and assists with water right administration. Prior to working at BBA, she graduated from Colorado College in 2019 with a degree in Geology. There, she studied how ground water flow, fens, and mining impacts converge in the Upper Animas River Basin. She is working towards a Professional Geologist certificate. She is an artist and baker.
Wetlands Conservation Plan Coordinator
Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes
Tabitha Espinoza is a descendent of the Séliš (Bitterroot Salish) and Ql̓ispé (Upper Pend d’Oreille) Tribes, living on the Flathead Indian Reservation of Western Montana. She works as the Wetlands Conservation Plan Coordinator for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT). In this position, she works to protect and enhance reservation wetlands, preserving the multitude of impressive functions they provide for the land, animals and people. She is a mother of two and loves spending time with her large extended family in all the beautiful places they call home.
Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, Natural Resources Department
Casey Ryan is Séliš (Bitterroot Salish), and belongs to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of western Montana. Casey currently serves as a hydrologist with the CSKT Natural Resources Department, where he works to protect and enhance water resources of the Flathead Indian Reservation for current and future generations. He also serves on the National Interagency Burned Area Response Team where he helps to address emergency erosion and flooding issues for wildfires on federal and tribal lands across the western United States. His personal and professional interests include forest hydrology, wildland fire hydrology, climate change, storytelling, and traditional ecological knowledge.
Staff Litigation Attorney
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Brittany Wright is licensed Maryland attorney, specialized in environmental law. She earned her J.D. and Master of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School and a B.A. in Urban Ecology from Hofstra University.
Brittany is a native Marylander, who learned at a young age how important a healthy Bay is to Maryland. During her undergraduate studies, her passion for protecting water grew after learning more about water quality issues in Long Island Sound and studying coastal marine biology abroad in Belize. Brittany attended Vermont Law School, where she focused on environmental law and policy and specialized in water resource law. While in law school, Brittany interned with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the NOAA’s Office of General Counsel International Section, and was a student clinician for a semester in the VLS Environmental and Natural Resource Law Clinic. After graduating, Brittany worked with Oceana in Washington, D.C. before coming to CBF.
Brittany started at CBF as the Litigation Fellow, before transitioning to her current role as a Staff Litigation Attorney. At CBF, Brittany has worked on a variety of cases and projects across state and federal issues, including climate change, federal roll backs of greenhouse gas emission regulations, offshore drilling, and hydropower dam water quality certifications. Brittany’s recent cases include challenging the repeal of the Clean Power Plan and litigating the regulatory changes to the definition of “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.