Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
Session 19B: Workforce Development
Tuesday, 14/Sept/2021:
3:00pm - 4:30pm

Location: Room 410ABC

West Building

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3:00pm - 3:45pm
ID: 180 / Session 19B: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Leadership, Social Equity, Workforce Development
Keywords: Management, Staff Support, Staff Engagement, Leadership, Communication

Stepping into Management During a Pandemic: What have we learned?

Adam Schuyler, Nichole Kruse

Murraysmith, United States of America; ,

Nichole and Adam both took on new roles within the organization as the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread in early 2020, significantly disrupting the status quo. Nichole was promoted to Group Manager and Adam to Puget Sound Regional Manager and Corporate Management Team member. They were both charged with unifying and growing the Puget Sound Region that operates in four offices, and improving regional performance across multiple metrics (i.e., revenue, sales, profit). At the end of 2020, the Puget Sound region had met and, in certain areas, exceeded its performance goals, making significant strides towards operating as a cohesive region.

During the presentation, Nichole will share what she has learned as a first-time staff manager. Adam will share his experiences stepping into new roles and what has changed or shifted from his previous experience managing staff during “normal” non-pandemic circumstances. The presentation will include a discussion of lessons learned, and how they plan to apply their experiences moving forward in the era following the COVID-19 crisis.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Adam Schuyler, PE, PMP, is the Puget Sound Regional Manager for Murraysmith. In his current role, Adam leads engineering staff management, project delivery, and business development efforts that align with the corporate strategies and initiatives of Murraysmith. Adam is responsible for the management and oversight of Murraysmith’s four offices located in the Puget Sound (Bellevue, Everett, Seattle, and Tacoma). He has 22 years of experience in engineering specializing in the design of pump stations, pipelines, utility planning, and hydraulics for municipal water and wastewater projects. Adam also has a passion for excellence in project management and project delivery. Adam is a Washington State University graduate with a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering.

Nichole Kruse, PE, is a Puget Sound Group Manager for Murraysmith. In her current role, Nichole oversees and supports a group of roughly 13 engineers to help successfully deliver projects, achieve career goals, and meet regional delivery and business development goals. Nichole has 11 years of experience in engineering, specializing in municipal water and wastewater projects. Nichole is a Colorado State University graduate with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering. Her favorite part of her work is collaborating with her project teams and clients to identify project needs or issues, then implementing solutions to challenges.

3:45pm - 4:30pm
ID: 173 / Session 19B: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Leadership, Social Equity, Workforce Development
Keywords: Education, outreach, tool, virtual, video, field trip, tour, students, teachers, classroom, public, community

Developing New Tools for Virtual Outreach

Joanne Lind, Siri Nelson

LOTT Clean Water Alliance, United States of America; ,

Virtual Speakers

Problem Statement

The LOTT Clean Water Alliance’s active education and outreach program helps forge strong connections with the community. LOTT has invested in their WET Science Center, partnerships with local school districts, and public outreach that includes providing tours to community groups. When LOTT’s treatment plant and WET Science Center had to temporarily close to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we quickly changed our focus to develop strategies and tools for connecting with our community virtually. Using a collaborative process, we began creating new programming and outreach tools, including a virtual plant tour and virtual field trip.


A team of LOTT staff worked with a video production company to create a virtual tour and related videos to explain the wastewater treatment process, resource recovery, clean water careers, and what not to flush.

LOTT’s education staff quickly shifted gears to produce a new live web-based program to continue serving our three partner school districts within LOTT’s service area, and to continue to support science teachers and reach middle school students.


Joanne Lind, LOTT’s Public Communications Manager, worked with LOTT staff and a video production company, Twisted Scholar, to create an engaging and accurate portrayal of the treatment process. Staff were encouraged to contribute ideas and input in each step of production, resulting in a series of videos that everyone is proud of. Even after in-person tours resume, these videos will be used to increase accessibility for community members to learn about the treatment process.

The education team, led by Siri Nelson, Education Program Manager, created a virtual wastewater field trip program that incorporated input and feedback from teachers and district staff to ensure the program met the rapidly changing needs of virtual classrooms while remaining effective. The virtual field trips have received positive feedback, and the education program is on track for meeting outreach goals for the 2020-21 school year.


Presenters will discuss how they created virtual tools to continue to provide public outreach without in-person contact. They will offer lessons learned, best practices, and ways to use virtual tools to reach members of your community.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Joanne Lind

Public Communications Manager, 2017 – present
LOTT Clean Water Alliance, Olympia, WA
Responsible for planning, developing, and implementing a broad range of public information, involvement, education, outreach, marketing, and internal communications, effectively engaging the public in LOTT programs and projects.

Communication & Outreach Unit Supervisor, 2005 –2017
Department of Ecology, Hazardous Waste & Toxic Reduction (HWTR) Program, Olympia, WA
Managed a team of professional staff to provide communication and outreach for the HWTR program. Responsibilities included planning, developing, and marketing outreach products and services to educate businesses and the public about hazardous waste and pollution prevention.

Siri Nelson, LOTT Clean Water Alliance

Education Program Manager, 2019 – present
LOTT Clean Water Alliance, Olympia, WA
Responsible for planning, developing, and managing LOTT’s education program to further LOTT’s mission and public engagement goals. This includes managing LOTT’s interactive education center – the WET Science Center – and LOTT’s partnerships and programming for out three local school districts.

Manager, Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center (MSEEC), 2015 – 2019
Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA
Managed Early Childhood, Field Studies, Outreach and Youth Programming, budget and staff at MSEEC, a collaboration between the Pacific Science Center and the City of Bellevue. Program oversight included a nature preschool, experiential school field trip program, and an award winning high school internship program focused on environmental science and habitat restoration.

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