President's Page

 

February 2017

 

Greetings on behalf of your TAEP Board of Directors!  I am writing to let you know about a couple of upcoming Spring 2017 events and opportunities that may be of interest to you:

  • February 16th: TAEP is hosting our monthly luncheon meeting at Brady’s Landing, where we will hear from my friend Scott Jones of the Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF). He will give us an update and overview on storm surge mitigation concepts for the Houston and Galveston area. As you know, post-Hurricane Ike, there have been substantive efforts by numerous agencies and organizations to develop a comprehensive, practicable plan to minimize the effects of storm surge along the upper Texas coast, so this should be an interesting and informative presentation. As always, please register early!
  • Also on February 16th: If your work is related to air, oil, or gas, you may want to check out the Air and Waste Management Association Gulf Coast Chapter’s (AWMA-GCC) 20th Annual Conference and Exhibition (formerly the HAT Conference).  As part of our ongoing partnership with sister organizations here in SE Texas, AWMA-GCC has graciously offered TAEP members their AWMA member rate to attend the conference.  This offer is good up until February 10th, so if you are interested please register soon!
  • March 1st -3rd: TAEP is once again partnering with GSI Environmental to offer Texas Risk Reduction Program Training pertaining to the Texas Risk Reduction Program (30 TAC 350). This comprehensive, informative, and popular training series is instructed by GSI with participation by key TCEQ technical staff.  As always, TAEP members get a 10% discount on registration for the course. And, part of the funds raised will be returned to TAEP to support our student scholarship programs!
  • March 27th -30th: The National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) Annual Conference will be held in Durham, NC. As part of the conference, training sessions are being offered on Monday, March 27, including NEPA, air quality, ecosystem services, and wildlife habitat.
  • March 1st: More locally, the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University is offering a course titled, “Full World- Houston's Ecologic and Economic Future” that examines the relationship between the economic and ecologic well being of the Houston-Galveston region.  The course runs for eight weeks on Wednesday evenings from March 1st through April 19th. CEUs are available.
  • April 8th -10th: TAEP is a long-time sponsor of the Texas Envirothon. This year’s event is being held at the Texas Tech Field Station in Junction, Texas (Kimball County).  This year’s topic is “Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation Stewardship.”  If you would like to be involved, there are opportunities for sponsorship, volunteering, etc. You’ll be glad you did, as this is a great event and opportunity to support budding environmental professionals.

 

As always, information on these and other upcoming events can be found on our website.  As we start 2017, I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.  Please let me know if we can make your experience with TAEP a better one.  Thank you for your membership and your support!

Jim

Jim Dobberstine
President and Education Director
Texas Association of Environmental Professionals
www.taep.org

  

PS: Looking for a great way to give back to your community, help the next generation, and promote your profession? The Science and Engineering Fair of Houston needs volunteer judges with Science and Engineering backgrounds to evaluate student projects on February 24th and 25th.  You can register on their website.  Tell 'em TAEP sent you!

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November 2016

 

Greetings from your TAEP Board of Directors! We hope you enjoyed an excellent Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the holiday season and upcoming New Year.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to say thank you to all of you that help make TAEP a great professional association! As I look back over this year, I can identify so many great people doing really neat things for our profession, from volunteers serving on our event committees (ECIC, Holiday Social, YEP) and helping at our various events and luncheons (shout out to Mel!), to our very hardworking board members and committee leaders that labor on their own time to organize these efforts and ensure they function smoothly. I also want to thank our partners at AWMA, CHMM, and SAME, who frequently partner with us to host and sponsor events and join our respective memberships together, a principle on which TAEP was founded. And thank you to our member companies that go above and beyond to sponsor their employees for memberships, and donate funds for our events and fundraisers for scholarships. Finally, I would like to note the passing last month of Ed Fiesinger, long-time board member and Treasurer for TAEP. His work was instrumental in forging TAEP into what it is today. He will be missed.

Looking ahead, I want you to know about a few upcoming events and opportunities:

  • Just a reminder that we are preparing for our annual Board of Directors elections, and are asking for nominations from the membership as we prepare the ballot. If you are a member and would like to serve on the board, or would like to nominate another member to serve, please visit our elections page for information and to email me directly. Please do so by December 2nd (the end of this week!).
  • We are preparing for our upcoming TAEP/AWMA/CHMM Holiday Social on December 8th! Once again, we are hosting this event at St. Arnold’s Brewery. It promises to be a fun evening, complete with games, door prize giveaways, a raffle, and a very competitive Rock, Paper, Scissors (RPS) tournament! We will be raffling several Amazon gift cards and the RPS Tournament winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card! Funds raised from the raffle and tournament will help support scholarship programs for each of the host organizations. A special thank you to our sponsors for these prizes, especially our Gold Sponsor, Rineco Chemical Industries! Please visit our website to register for the event. If you would like to help sponsor the Holiday Social, please visit our website for additional details or email me directly.
  • TAEP is proud to host the first quarterly (2017) meeting of the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) in Houston on January 21st. As part of this effort, we will have a guest from NAEP at our January 19th luncheon, and then Friday evening, January 20th we will host an evening social mixer for our members and the NAEP Board. Please stay tuned to our website for updates about the times, locations, and other details for the social.

As we approach the end of 2016, it has been my continuing pleasure to serve as President of the Board, and be a part of this unique organization. I am blessed to be affiliated with all of you, and appreciate the hard work you do to make our professional association a great one. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events. As always, please let me know if we can make your experience with TAEP a better one. Thank you for your membership and your support!

Happy Holidays,

Jim

Jim Dobberstine
President and Education Director
Texas Association of Environmental Professionals
www.taep.org
 
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July 2016

Greetings from your TAEP Board of Directors! We hope you are having an excellent summer and are looking forward to another beautiful fall here in southeast Texas.

I have not written a President’s Update in quite awhile (over a year!), and I want to make note a of a couple of important things:

  1. We just completed a successful election cycle for the TAEP Board of Directors. Congratulations to new Board members Bryan Mason and Kathy Garland! They join Jess Bailey, Pam Embody, Glenn Buckley, Jenny Towns, and myself on the 2016 Board of Directors. Bryan recently served as the Co-chair for our very successful 2015 ECIC, and will serve as our ECIC Liaison. Kathy, believe it or not, is back for a second term as a Board member, having served a term a few years back, and will serve as our Board Secretary. Also congratulations to returning board members Mike McClellan and Tom FitzHenry, each of whom are returning and have graciously agreed to reprise their roles as Programs Director and VP/NAEP Representative (respectively). Finally, thank you to Jayson Hudson and Brandi Naughton, our outgoing Board Members, for their dedicated years of service and hard work supporting our association.
  2. I want to remind you that this Thursday, July 21st, we are hosting our annual Joint Regulatory Update in partnership with AWMA. Our guest speaker this year will be TCEQ Regional Director Ashley Wadick. We are very excited to have her join us and address our joint memberships. If you plan to attend, please be sure to register in advance, as attendance at this annual event tends to be quite large. We want to be sure to accommodate all of those who wish to attend, and walk-in opportunities may be limited.

With that, I wish you a happy summer! I want to thank you from TAEP for your ongoing interest and support of our organization. 2016 is TAEP’s 27th Anniversary, and will mark my seventh year as President of the association (ninth as Scholarships Director). I am proud of the work we do at TAEP, the partnerships we have with AWMA, SAME, CHMM, and numerous other organizations throughout Southeast Texas. I want to especially thank you for your support of our Chuck Glore Memorial Scholarship Program, which supports deserving students and programs in the environmental professional areas each (and every) year with funds that you provide through your membership and attendance at our events and luncheons. Thank you.

Jim

 
Jim Dobberstine
President and Education Director
Texas Association of Environmental Professionals
www.taep.org

  

PS: If you are interested, I have included some highlights and thanks from the last year (follows).

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Some highlights from this very successful past year:

  • We hosted our annual Holiday Social at the St. Arnold’s Brewery in December 2015. This year’s event was a gathering of professionals from TAEP, AWMA, SAME, and CHMM. We had an outstanding evening visiting and celebrating with friends and colleagues over excellent food from Hickory Hollow and outstanding beer and root beer from St. Arnold’s. As always, we had great fun, and our congratulations to those that won door prizes and prizes for the table word games! I want to extend my thanks to the volunteers from all four organizations that made it a huge success:
The Holiday Social Planning Committee: Mike McClellan (TAEP; 2015 Holiday Social Committee Chair); Yvonne Hernandez (SAME); Richard McCormack (CHMM); Morriss Barney (CHMM); Shagun Bhat (AWMA); Glenn Buckley (TAEP/YEP); me (General Holiday Curmudgeon at large). A number of these folks also helped out the night of the social at the registration tables and other tasks to keep things moving smoothly!

Volunteers:
-Susan Buckley, who baked 100 chocolate chip cookies, made the adorable snowman decorations as prizes for the word games, shopped for supplies, and brought and decorated the Christmas tree and registration tables
-Jenny Towns and our YEP volunteers who did a number of things including helping set up and manage the food serving table and cleaning up after the party!
-Glenn and Susan Buckley, who provided many of the decorations and table game prizes!
-Craig Klein who designed and managed our web site registration and helped with a variety of technical issues along the way.
-Rineco, CHMM, AWMA, SAME and others who donated door prizes for the event!

  • Not long prior, in October 2015, we also hosted our Environmental Challenges and Innovations Conference. What a great, successful event! We had more than 300 attendees, and a whole day of very interesting presentations and excellent luncheon plenary presentation by Dr. Michael Young from the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology. Congratulations also to our Chuck Glore Memorial Scholarship winners from the University of Houston, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Texas A&M, Texas A&M at Galveston, and Stephen F. Austin State University. Many students from the schools were in attendance at the ECIC, and I hope you were able to meet a few of these outstanding students and future environmental professionals. Congratulations also to Wendy Reistle and the Texas Envirothon Program for winning the Outstanding Service in Environmental Education Award! Finally, a huge thank you to Brian Mason and Andy Adams (ECIC Conference Co-chairs), and the ECIC Conference Committee volunteers!!
  • We co-hosted two very neat Young Environmental Professionals (YEP) Socials  this spring (2016) with our sister YEP at AWMA! I attended both events, and was impressed at the number of folks that turned out for a great social and networking opportunity! My special thanks to our YEP Liaison, Jenny Towns, her AWMA counterpart Seneca Harvey, and our sponsor for the first event, PollutionTech.
  • We hosted no less than twelve, very successful monthly Luncheon Meetings the past year, each with a unique topic and speaker ranging across topics touching on virtually every service area and professional discipline represented by the TAEP membership. My humble thanks to the many speakers and volunteers that make this ongoing effort. Most specifically, I want to thank Mike McClellan for his important and irreplaceable) effort identifying topics and speakers for the meetings, and Craig Klein for his technical support for online registration and onsite logistics. My many thanks to the volunteers that often support registration at the luncheons, including Pam Embody, Glenn Buckley, and Bryan Mason.
  • Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Pam Embody and Craig Klein have continued their diligent work managing and refining our member database, and Jess Bailey has modernized and improved our financial recordkeeping processes. These efforts are critical to the long-term health and vitality of TAEP as we continue to grow. My sincere thanks to each of them for this important work!  
  • Our partnership with NEAP and our sister Texas Chapters continued to grow stronger. In fact, thanks in large part to the efforts of Tom FitzHenry, TAEP co-hosted a very well 1st Annual Member Meetup at the TCEQ Trade Fair in Austin this past May 2016 with our friends at the North Texas Association of Environmental Professionals (NTAEP). The event was sponsored by KJE Engineering, Geo-Cleanse International, PEI, and Pace Analytical, and was very well attended by members and non-members alike!
  • We continue to work with local partners in the Galveston Bay area. As an example, along with our friends at SWCA Environmental Consultants, AECOM, HDR, Gulf Coast Waste Disposal, ATKINS, and the Galveston Bay Foundation, TAEP cosponsored the 2016 Reception at the TCEQ Galveston Bay Estuary Program’s “State of the Bay” Symposium in January. The event was well attended and appreciated! Thanks to Bob Stokes at the Galveston Bay Foundation for organizing the event and including TAEP, and a special thanks to TAEP members Matt Stahman and Laura MacNeil for answering my call to sponsor it as well!
  • Last (but, far, far from least) I want to thank the many volunteers, Directors, and members that work behind the scenes to make TAEP a successful service organization. Without you, it would be a futile effort.

 

 


 

May 2015
 
Spring greetings from your TAEP Board of Directors!  We hope you are having an excellent first half of the year and are looking forward to an excellent summer here in southeast Texas. 
 
I am writing today to (finally!) share with you the results of our 2015 Board of Directors (BOD) elections.  I wish to congratulate Jenny Towns on her first election to the BOD, and to Pam Embody on her successful reelection. I would also like to thank the membership for my reelection to the BOD to start my third term.  Collectively, we join sitting Board members Tom FitzHenry, Mike McClellan, Jayson Hudson, Jess Bailey, Glenn Buckley, and Brandi Naughton to serve you in 2015.  My thanks to this year’s Nominating Committee, composed of Jayson Hudson, Jess Bailey, and Tim Beyer for their effort vetting and selecting candidates.  Thank you also to our candidates, including long-time and dedicated TAEP member Joy Young, for running to serve the association.  We would also like to offer a sincere and heartfelt thank you on behalf of the board to outgoing TAEP Treasurer Ed Fiesinger, who has dedicated many years to serving our community and association, and been an invaluable member of TAEP.  His service and guidance have been a huge asset to the association for many years.  Finally, we would also like to thank you, the members of TAEP, for your participation in our BOD elections.  Selection of the Board is critical to the function and success of the association.  The BOD works to represent you, and your selections help shape the direction of the association moving forward.
 
One of the very successful elements of TAEP is our ongoing Chuck Glore Memorial Scholarship Program, through which TAEP supports college and university students in environmental programs at several SE Texas schools.  We also help sponsor programs for high school level students interested in careers in the environmental field through our support of the annual Science and Engineering Fair of Houston, and the Texas Envirothon.  As it happens, I had the opportunity to attend part of this year’s Texas Envirothon, held at Schreiner University in Kerrville this April.  It is a remarkable competition, where teams of students from high schools from around the state compete to solve an environmental problem or issue (case study), making use of three full days of field training, information gathering from regional experts, and collaborative work within their peer groups, culminating in a professional presentation to expert judges for the opportunity to go on to represent the state of Texas in the National Envirothon competition to compete for scholarships.
 
I have to say that I was thoroughly amazed at the level of effort and excellence I saw at the event, from the dedicated effort of the many volunteers who set up the workshops and tours and serve as judges, to the organizers to work tirelessly to ensure the entire event goes smoothly to the smallest detail, to the students themselves, who work remarkably hard to during three very tough days!  And let me tell you, these students are true standouts and great representatives of just how excellent our Texas students can be.  I had the honor of serving as a judge on the panel deciding a tiebreak between the top two teams in the competition.  After 25 years as a scientist, and nearly a decade teaching at the college level, I was thoroughly impressed by the sophistication and ability of these students to solve complex problems and develop professional proposals for implementing truly viable, well-considered solutions.  The competition was remarkably close.  Congratulations to the first place team form the Academy of Science and Technology in Conroe, who will be traveling to the national Envirothon competition in Springfield, Missouri this July.  My congratulations to all of the students and their advisors, and to the dedicated volunteers and organizers, led by Wendy Reistle of the Environmental Institute of Houston.  And a special acknowledgement to the gracious host organizations in Kerrville, including the Riverside Nature Center and Schreiner University, who provide an excellent experience for these young scholars to shine.  For information on the Texas Envirothon, please visit our website (www.taep.org) or the Texas Envirothon website at www.texasenvirothon.org.
 
As we head into summer, I want to thank you for your ongoing interest and support of our organization.  I am proud of the work we do at TAEP, the partnerships we have with organizations throughout SE Texas.  We look forward to seeing you at our luncheons and events over the remainder of the year.  Please visit out website to find event and registration information on our luncheon meetings, the upcoming Environmental Challenges and Innovation Conference (in October!), the Young Environmental Professionals, and more!
 
On behalf of the Board of Directors and TAEP volunteers, we wish you a successful and happy summer! 
Jim
 

Jim Dobberstine
President and Education Director
Texas Association of Environmental Professionals
www.taep.org

 

Photo:  TAEP President Jim Dobberstine with Envirothon Coordinator Wendy Reistle at the 2015 Envirothon Award Luncheon at Schreiner University in Kerrville, TX

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