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Tim Hoelzle Appointed CeRSER Vice President/President Elect

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Great Ecology is proud to announce that Tim Hoelzle, VP of Technical Services at Great Ecology, has been named Vice President/President Elect of the Central Rockies Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration (CeRSER). Tim previously served on CeRSER’s board of directors as Treasurer, and will officially transition to his new position in January 2016.

Mr. Timothy Hoelzle

CeRSER is a regional chapter of SER serving the states of Colorado and Wyoming, whose mission is to foster ecological restoration awareness, understanding and activity among a range of participants.

Tim Hoelzle specializes in the restoration and enhancement of underutilized sites across the United States, as well as in the reclamation and remediation of lands disturbed through mining and energy extraction. His expertise also includes wetland and stream restoration, invasive species management, soil microbial community evaluations, environmental permitting, and Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR). He holds a Master’s degree in Rangeland Ecosystem Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Rangeland Ecology with a focus on Restoration Ecology from Colorado State University.

Great Ecology congratulates Tim on his elected position!

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Great Ecology Participates in Woodbridge New Jersey Waterfront Park Public Access Groundbreaking Event

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On October 27, 2015, Woodbridge Township Mayor, John E. McCormac, introduced the public access groundbreaking event at the Woodbridge Waterfront Park.  This important milestone, attended by the Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency, the Brownfields Development Area Steering Committee, Great Ecology and other members of the development team, signified the site’s transition from restoration efforts to the construction of trails, boardwalks, and an overlook structure which will provide valued public access to the site and views of the Raritan River.  The overlook structure, conceived and designed by Great Ecology, will initiate the series of construction activities slated for the public access element of the project.

Learn more about Great Ecology’s work supporting the Woodbridge Waterfront Park Restoration.

Woodbridge Construction

Mayor John E. McCormac with rendering of Woodbridge Waterfront Park at groundbreaking announcement.

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Join us in Manchester for SER World 2015!

Great Ecology’s President, Dr. Mark Laska and VP, Technical Services, Timothy Hoelzle are heading to the SER World Congress next week, August 23-27. The bi-annual conference unites leading practitioners, researchers, and government agencies focused on ecological restoration from across the world.

We are thrilled to be a part of this year’s event as both Dr. Laska and Mr. Hoelzle are chairing sessions and presenting restoration best practices and innovative projects.

Monday, August 24:
Mr. Hoelzle joins Dr. Aida Farag of the U.S. Geological Society to lead two symposia on Monday and Tuesday.

For the first symposium, Mr. Hoelzle and Dr. Farag will lead a session on Restoration and monitoring for success for lands and aquatic systems impacted by resource extraction (SY10; Monday @ 10:30). This session will focus on identifying constraints and opportunities for restoration of drastically disturbed environments with a focus on regulatory issues, novel reclamation methodologies, and economic modeling approaches. Mr. Hoelzle will present opinions on reclamation and restoration of lands where selenium issues are of concern (SY10.4). In addition, Dr. Laska joins the session to present how creative solutions driven by ecology can be applied to achieve beneficial re-use for underutilized properties (SY10.1).

The second symposium, Restoration of impaired ecosystems: An ounce of prevention or a pound of cure?, will present the results of the SETAC-SER Technical Workgroup meeting in summer 2014 (SY22; Tuesday @ 1:10). This Workgroup united top scientists and practitioners to develop best practices for the integration of remediation and restoration of contaminated ecosystems. The session will focus on the key findings on restoration goal setting, implementation, monitoring, and important pitfalls, which will also be published in an upcoming journal issue of Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management.

Tuesday, August 25
Our cities are becoming more populated and worldwide cities are making a push to increase urban green spaces. In the Oral Presentations O24 session, Dr. Laska stresses the core features of successful urban restoration projects. The challenge, create highly functioning and resilient ecosystems in the face of competing pressures. Join Dr. Laska to learn the best practices for the urban, hybrid ecosystems. It all starts with location!

Session Details:
1605 Oral Presentations O24 EXCHANGE 8
Moderators: Mark S. Laska, Ph.D. and Louise Egerton-Warburton, USA
Theme: Participation and Urban Restoration Urban restoration

O24.1 Designing for function and resiliency: using science to enhance habitat and enrich the landscape experience M.S. Laska, Ph.D., Great Ecology, San Diego, USA

O24.2 Transforming the Way Children Learn to Care and Act about Endangered Species S.S. Burnes, L. C. Jones, Captain Planet Foundation, Atlanta, USA

O24.3 Prescribed Goat Browsing at the University of Georgia (USA): Contexts, goals, impacts, and advantages E.G. King1,2, E.A. MacDonald3 – 1Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia,Athens, USA, 2Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, USA, 3College of Environment and Design, University of Georgia, Athens, USA

O24.4 Should we sweat the small stuff? Restoration and management effects on litter decomposition and microbial functioning in the Chicago Wilderness L.M. Egerton-Warburton1, L.G. Umek1,2 – 1Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, USA, 2Program in Plant Biology and Conservation, Northwestern University, Evanston, USA

O24.5 The Formal and the Informal City in Africa: Planning and Governance Dilemmas G.I. Nwaka, Humanities and Social Sciences, Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria

Check out one, both, or all of their talks!

Contact us to set up a meeting with Dr. Laska or Mr. Hoelzle at SER World.

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Concept to Completion – The Croton Water Filtration Plant

Integrating the built and natural environments, the newly completed Croton Water Filtration Plant is a now providing water to New York City. With the capacity to filter 290 million gallons of water per day, approximately 1/3 of the City’s water needs, the Plant is New York City’s first filtration plant and the result of an interdisciplinary project team.

The City receives the majority of its water from nearby reservoirs, providing the largest unfiltered water supply in the U.S. and earning the City’s reputation for the cleanest drinking water. However, due to development within the Croton Watershed, water quality deteriorated and in 1998 the City was required to build a filtration plant to meet federal drinking water requirements.

To reduce the footprint of the Plant, one of the City’s largest infrastructure projects, it is built approximately 80-feet below ground in Van Cortlandt Park and includes a 9-acre green roof – the Mosholu Golf Course driving range. The team used green infrastructure and water resource management best practices to solve key challenges of how to collect, filter, and store water on site.  The result of a creative collaboration between regulators, architects, and ecologists, the design minimizes the discharge of stormwater and groundwater into the sewer system by on-site treatment using constructed wetlands and bioswales benefiting the surrounding ecosystems.

The multi-billion dollar project has been a long time in the making, from the initial concept designs to excavation to construction and planting to flowing water.

The project was led by the Hazyen and Sawyer/ Metcalf & Eddy Joint Venture. Great Ecology supported the Grimshaw Architects Team along with Rana Creek, Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect, Atelier Ten, and Sherwood Design Engineers.

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection has more details on the Plant, including additional photos and a video of a blast during the creation of the 12-ft diameter, 880-ft long tunnel.

Below are just a few of our top images from the project.

Rendering by Grimshaw Architects.

Graphic details the different habitats which surround the plant and provide water resource management.

Aerial view of construction of the filtration plant.

Aerial view of construction of the filtration plant.

Planting a section of the greenroof - a 9-acre greenroof covers the filtration plant.

Planting a section of the greenroof – a 9-acre greenroof covers the filtration plant.

Mosholu Golf Course driving range sits on top of the Croton Water Filtration Plant.

The Mosholu Golf Course driving range sits on top of the Croton Water Filtration Plant.

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Environmental Business Journal Winner

Great Ecology is thrilled to be the Environmental Business Journal’s Achiever of the Week!

Each week the EBJ highlights one of the 2014 Business Achievement Award Winners. Great Ecology was recognized in the for our 21% growth rate and year end revenue of $4.6M in 2014. This is Great Ecology’s second year as a Business Achievement awardee, receiving the Bronze Medal for Small Firms in 2013.

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Great Ecology’s Dr. Jill McGrady to Present at the SERCAL Conference

Associate Ecologist, Dr. Jill McGrady joins the 2015 SERCAL Conference as a presenter in the Urban Restoration session on Wednesday, May 13. Dr. McGrady’s presentation, Innovative Remediation and Habitat Restoration Approaches on Corporate Lands, uses a case study of the Woodbridge Waterfront Park in New Jersey, one of Great Ecology’s signature projects.

Her discussion highlights how corporate landowners can successfully manage complex remediation and restoration projects on contaminated sites using best industry practices that focus on connectivity to the habitat, partnership with the community and stakeholders, and innovative ecological approaches. The presentation will also include a look at Great Ecology’s innovative mitigation design which saved the client millions of dollars in compensatory regulatory charges and returned public connectivity to the Raritan River.

SERCAL 2015, “Restoration for the Next Generation” is the 22nd annual conference of the California Society for Ecological Restoration, which will focus on industry topics such as urban restoration, mitigation banking, wetlands restoration, grasslands, restoration for special-status plant species, and expanding restoration.

Join Great Ecology’s President and Founder, Dr. Mark S. Laska and Dr. Jill McGrady at the 2015 SERCAL Conference this week in San Diego, CA.

 

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Great Ecology Recognized as one of San Diego’s Healthiest Companies

We are thrilled to announce that Great Ecology is recognized as one of San Diego’s Healthiest Companies by the San Diego Business Journal! Great Ecology placed third in this highly competitive competition. Great Ecology’s Wellness strategy is comprised of health and fitness challenges tailored to the specific interests and geographical constraints of each office including 5k color runs, plank challenges, and guest nutritionist speakers. With strong leadership support from the Executive Team and the creative use of a small business budget, Great Ecology’s Wellness Program provides our staff with the resources, programs, and incentives to empower them to reach new milestones in their own health goals. The firm feels strongly about the health and well-being of employees, and understands that healthy living means going above and beyond just physical exercise.
 
SDBJ Healthiest Companies beach yoga

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San Diego Mobilizes for 13th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup

San Diego citizens, communities, and corporations will come together this Saturday, April 25th at 106 different locations around San Diego County to address the dilemma of marine debris at the source – the creeks, rivers, and watersheds that flow to the ocean. The 13th annual Creek to Bay Clean Up, is organized by the I Love a Clean San Diego organization, a local non-profit dedicated to the conservation and preservation of natural resources through activism and community education.

Come join Great Ecology staff and friends this weekend as we try to beat last year’s record of 100 tons of trash collected! With over 100 different locations you won’t have to travel far to participate in this community event.
Find a location near me

CBS News 8 – San Diego, CA News Station – KFMB Channel 8

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Urban Ecological Restoration – Challenges & Opportunities

Great Ecology is excited to announce that Senior Ecologist, Dr. David J. Yozzo, will be chairing a session on Ecological Restoration this Sunday, April 19th, at the Northeast Natural History Conference.

In addition, Dr. Yozzo will be presenting, “Ecological Restoration in New York City: Challenges, Opportunities, and Experimentation.” He will address some of the unique challenges facing densely populated and industrialized urban settings, such as the New York City metropolitan area, and how ecologists, environmental engineers, and restoration practitioners can respond to create innovative, resilient ecosystems.

The Northeast Natural History Conference, now in its 15th year, is an interdisciplinary forum for individuals to present the current best practices and latest research on applied field biology (freshwater, marine, and terrestrial) and natural history for the Northeastern United States and adjacent Canada.

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Dr. Petrisor Keynote: Spilled Oil CSI

We are excited to announce our Senior Biochemist, Dr. Ioana G. Petrisor will be a Keynote Speaker at the 2015 Used Oil/HHW Conference on April 8, 2015.  Dr. Petrisor will present new, state-of-the-art fingerprinting techniques, applications, and recent research. She will share techniques to help track sources of illegal dumping as well as how to evaluate and distinguish used (“fake”) motor oil.

This year’s theme focuses on “The Reduced, The Reused and The Recycled” detailing innovative approaches and best practices for waste management from oil spills to hazardous household waste.

The annual CalRecycle conference unites nonprofit agencies, federal and state agencies, private businesses, and others who are involved in used oil recycling and concerning resource conservation and the appropriate management of used oil, household hazardous waste, pollution prevention, and other toxins.

 

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