2021 Virtual Young Professional Workshop Series - March 30 Speakers

March 30 | 12:15 PM - 1:00 PM ET
Session: Tips and Tricks For Standout Resumes

Heather Bell
President
Atlantic Coast Engineers & Executives

I am responsible for leading strategic direction of the organization and overall client management for Atlantic Coast Engineers & Executives. I have spent thirteen years in civil engineer recruiting working with Top ENR and Regional Firms and helping them identify, evaluate, and hire the best engineers in the industry. I am known for having honesty, integrity, in-depth knowledge in the civil engineering, land development, geotechnical, and environmental arenas, and for constantly delivering results. Having worked previously as a Director of Recruiting in a financial healthcare firm, I understand the challenges facing hiring managers in a tight job market and a thriving economy. ACEE keeps its client base small; taking on no more than a dozen clients a year and representing each market sector such as land development, geotechnical, and wastewater. This allows for the needed time to source and develop the relationships with clients and the best engineers in the industry. It’s all about “the right fit,” not every engineer makes sense for every firm. I listen to both the client and the candidate to understand their goals and what culturally is the best-fit for each. This is the intangible “human side” of the engineering world that often can be overlooked, but is often as important as the technical skills. After all, people are creatures of emotion, not just engineers. Candidates are not just candidates or potential dollar signs. They are people with dreams, goals, families/kids, pets, etc. and many become my personal friends. I want to know that 3 years, 5 years, 10 years from now, I put the person on a great career path where they are happy and succeeding. I believe in my clients and candidates; I am proud to represent them! Without passion for what you do, a person is just pushing rope. Outside of work, I am a body builder; maintaining the body is in harmony with maintaining mental fitness. I grew up in the Northern, VA area; my father was a homebuilder and my first jobs were construction clean-up and scraping windows. I love animals, especially dogs and will be looking in the future for another blind dog to rescue to teach to go hiking. I still maintain a practice in the Northern, VA/DC metro area as it is a thriving market in any economy. I recently relocated during Covid to Georgia to spend weekends finding the next waterfall.

March 30 | 1:15 PM - 2:00 PM ET
Session: Critical Networking Skills Before Applying to Jobs and the Job Search

Josh Newton
Founder
Josh's Water Jobs

Josh Newton is the founder of Josh’s Water Jobs, connecting young professionals with job opportunities and promoting career development. Josh is also an independent consultant and expert in global water governance and political processes, and stakeholder engagement, and utilizes his knowledge of the international water and sanitation communities to help institutions develop their institutional strategies and drive political processes related to water.

March 30 | 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM ET
Session: Career Twists and Turns: Not knowing your way is Ok!

Sharon B. Megal
Director, Water Resources Research Center
The University of Arizona

Sharon B. Megdal, Ph.D. is Director of The University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC), a Cooperative Extension center and a research unit in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her work focuses on water policy and management, on which she writes and frequently speaks. Other primary titles are Professor and Specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, C.W. & Modene Neely Endowed Professor, and Distinguished Outreach Professor.

The geographic scope of Dr. Megdal’s work ranges from local to international. Projects include comparative evaluation of water management, policy, and governance in water-scarce regions, groundwater recharge, and transboundary aquifer assessment. She is the lead editor of the book, Shared Borders, Shared Waters: Israeli-Palestinian and Colorado River Basin Water Challenges and she has guest edited several journal issues. Her policy columns and Reflections essays can be found at https://wrrc.arizona.edu/director. Dr. Megdal teaches the multi-disciplinary graduate course “Water Policy in Arizona and Semi-arid Regions”. In 2020, she was awarded the Warren A. Hall Medal for lifetime achievement in water resources research and education by the Universities Council on Water Resources.

Sharon Megdal serves as Board President, International Arid Lands Consortium and Board Member, American Water Resources Association. She is also an ex officio member of the Leadership Team for the Colorado River Basin Water & Tribes Initiative. From 2009 through 2020, she represented the residents of Pima County on the elected Board of Directors for the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, also known as the Central Arizona Project (CAP), serving as Board Secretary from 2016 through 2020. Dr. Megdal has served on numerous Arizona boards and commissions, including the Arizona Corporation Commission, the State Transportation Board, and the Arizona Medical Board. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Princeton University. Dr. Megdal’s full CV can be found at wrrc.arizona.edu/director.

March 30 | 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM ET
Panel: A Day in the Life of Professionals in the Water Community

Jennifer Pitt
Director
National Audubon Society's Colorado River Program
 
Jennifer Pitt is director of National Audubon Society’s Colorado River Program, where she works to protect and restore rivers. She is a leading advocate for the United States–Mexico collaboration to restore the long-desiccated Colorado River Delta, and serves as the U.S. co-chair of the binational work group whose partners will, through 2026, implement existing treaty commitments providing environmental flows and habitat creation. Prior to joining Audubon, she worked at the Environmental Defense Fund where she collaborated with Colorado River stakeholders to produce the unprecedented Colorado River Basin Supply and Demand Study, the first federal assessment of climate change impacts in the basin and the first basin-wide evaluation of the impacts of river system operation on water supply reliability and river health. Jennifer worked for a member of Congress and as a ranger for the National Park Service. She graduated from Harvard University and received a master’s in Environmental Science and Policy from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Lindsey Yasarer
Research Hydrologist
US Department of Agriculture
 
Dr. Lindsey Yasarer is a Research Hydrologist with the US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and works within the Water Quality and Ecology Research Unit at the National Sedimentation Laboratory located in Oxford, Mississippi. She has experience in the areas of watershed hydrology and limnology, with a focus on using watershed modeling to understand the influences of climate and landscape processes on water quality. She is currently working with a team of scientists to study the effectiveness of agricultural conservation practices for water management and water quality improvement.

William A. Battaglin
Research Hydrologist
US Geological Survey
 
Bill Battaglin is currently a Research Hydrologist for the U. S. Geological Survey in Lakewood, Colorado. Bill received a B.A. in Geology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1984, and a M. E. in Geological Engineering, from the Colorado School of Mines, in 1992. He has work with various offices of the USGS since 1982. Bill has designed and conduct numerous studies investigating the occurrence of pesticides and other contaminants in streams, reservoirs, groundwater, rain, and the air. His recent research includes: investigations of the occurrence of pharmaceuticals and pesticides in streams and lakes in or near National Parks, the effects of pesticides on amphibian populations in North America, the influence of emerging contaminants on Asian carp spawning in the Illinois River, and the potential impacts of climate change on National Parks. Bill has been an active member of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) since 1993, serving on several conference committees, the board of directors, State section President in 2009, and National President in 2012. Bill enjoys hiking, skiing, camping, ultimate, golf and just about anything else that can be enjoyed outdoors.

Katus Watson, PE, DBIA
Vice President, Geographic Operations Manager
Jacobs Engineering Group
 
Katus Watson currently serves as the Vice President of Operations for Jacobs’ Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Oklahoma. Throughout his 22-year tenure with the firm, Katus has built an extensive portfolio that includes water, environmental, transportation, and building projects. Katus manages a team of approximately 1,200 staff providing a variety of services including consulting, design-build, construction management, program management, and operations & maintenance.

In addition to his leadership role, Katus is passionate about delivering superior services for his clients, fostering innovation, and increasing focus on staff engagement by creating a culture where everyone feels a sense of belonging. In fact, his passion and advocacy has culminated into a mission that is dedicated to advancing justice and equity for all. To that end, last year he spearheaded a council, and served as chair, to address the immediate issues related to racial injustice and inequalities for Jacobs’ Black employees. That council developed the Jacobs Action Plan for Advancing Justice and Equality, which has been integrated throughout Jacobs on a global level and drives the principles of inclusive leadership and diversity of thought.

Katus earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.E. in Environmental Engineering from Howard University where he currently serves as the chair of the Civil Engineering Advisory Board. Outside of work, Katus enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters and traveling to his hometown in Jamaica. He is also a die-hard Miami Heat fan!

Jason Doll
Senior Project Manager
KCI Technologies Inc
 
Mr. Doll has more than 26 years as an environmental scientist and project manager specializing in watershed planning, water quality modeling, stormwater management, and ecological restoration for both public and private sector clients throughout North America. In particular, he has completed numerous watershed planning projects utilizing multi-disciplinary approaches to integrate ecological restoration with point and non-point source management measures to develop comprehensive strategies to improve and protect watershed functions. Mr. Doll also provides significant experience in urban/suburban stream restoration, as well as individual drainage improvement projects and green infrastructure retrofits. He is formally trained in natural channel design principles and low impact development.

WHAT CAN MEMBERSHIP DO FOR YOU?

If you actively engage in our community, your career and organization will benefit. We offer multiple opportunities for engagement via conferences, social media, webinars, committees and publications.