The 2024 Water and Wastewater Equipment, Treatment and Transport (WWETT) Show takes place January 25 – 27 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.
WWETT is the largest annual event dedicated to wastewater and environmental service professionals, with approximately 12,000 attendees and over 480 exhibiting companies in over 270,000 square feet of exhibit space. This is the largest, most immersive showcase of the latest innovations within the wastewater industry. The show brings together industry experts, cutting-edge technologies, and game-changing services all under one roof. Take your pick from over 90 expert-led courses, live show demonstrations, hundreds of interactive booths, engaging networking opportunities, and celebrate with thousands of your industry peers!
Meet SCS Engineers Environmental Professionals at the AEHS Foundation’s 39th Annual Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water, and Energy, October 16-19, in Amherst, Massachusetts.
This is AEHS’s “East Coast” environmental conference, and it brings together some 600-800 participants with diverse backgrounds, including representatives from state and federal agencies, environmental engineering firms, consulting companies, industry leaders, and esteemed academia — truly a gathering of the best and brightest minds in the field.
The conference delivers a robust and varied technical program with presentations on cutting-edge research, innovative approaches, and practical insights. The conference offers participants the opportunity to be part of a vibrant community dedicated to developing creative, cost-effective assessments and solutions to meet regulatory demands, shape a sustainable future, and make a lasting impact in the environmental field.
The Association for Environmental Health and Sciences Foundation, Inc. (AEHS) is a non-profit, member-supported, professional organization, with the purpose of facilitating communication and fostering cooperation among professionals concerned with the challenge of soil, sediment, and water assessment, cleanup, and protection.
We hope to see you there! For more conference details and registration information, click here
Kacey Garber wanted to be a storm chaser when she grew up, trained to detect and alert others of brewing severe weather. But then she found geology and went on to earn graduate and postgraduate degrees in this discipline, which brought the summa cum laude scholar to SCS Engineers. Her charge is groundwater protection, an area where she aspires to grow her expertise further.
The young professional (YP) is already moving quickly along that trajectory, beginning by supporting landfills and utilities and now applying her strong skill set in a highly specialized, fast-evolving arena – deep-well injection.
A common thread binds Garber’s main interests – groundwater protection, geology, and meteorology/trained weather spotter, which she still does in her spare time.
“What draws me to these niches is the thrill of being part of the scientific community collecting and interpreting compelling data to figure out solutions. And not just any solutions but those with the promise of helping protect people and the environment. That’s where I want to have an impact,” she says.
She’s heard of climate change almost her whole life and has thought for almost as long that someday she would play some problem-solving role to help mitigate its effects.
Garber splits her time at SCS between several areas. She monitors and tests groundwater for landfills, closely following both active and closed sites, and helping landfills prepare for post-closure. She supports electric utilities with groundwater issues potentially related to their closed coal ash ponds and disposal sites. And now, she is leading groundwater protection tasks for class VI deep-well injection projects as part of a dedicated team that permits and builds these wells.
The cutting-edge, EPA-regulated technology injects and stores carbon dioxide underground safely, preventing this potent greenhouse gas from releasing into the atmosphere.
Garber’s on-the-job experience in the field is paramount to her new, added role. Her studies in geology focused on sedimentary basins are also proving important.
“Sedimentary basins [where large bodies of rock occur] are ideal spots for carbon sequestration. But first, you must understand the geologic characteristics of the basin and each rock formation and determine exactly which locations within the basin are best for injecting and storing carbon dioxide. That’s a big part of what I do to ensure efficiency and safety,” she says.
In her eyes, Garber lives and works in the best of two worlds in that she can concentrate on different but related interests.
“Joining our deep-well injection team brings me back to my roots in traditional geology. But it also enables me to stay on the groundwater monitoring track, which is meaningful as I aim to position myself as a national expert who can do this important work. Ensuring water quality is critical to protecting the environment and communities, as a large part of our country relies on groundwater for its water supply.”
As she grows her reach into deep-well injection, she grows her relationships too. The multidisciplinary team—all new colleagues to her a year ago are her newest work family addition.
“It’s humbling to partner with so many incredibly smart people, each with their respective areas of expertise. We’ve come to trust each other’s judgment as we solve issues together. And as it turns out, we have a lot in common, especially our love of nature—the joy we find in being outdoors, camping, and hiking.”
Getting a foot in the door of a nationwide environmental firm has been good. Especially one that welcomes YPs and is vested in their career development, something she found uncommon among companies with as great a geographical reach and breadth of expertise.
She seized the opportunity.
“I saw it as a way to gain visibility early in my career. And to become well-rounded in my discipline. We perform groundwater monitoring for many project types, and there are parallels in how it’s done in each; I can support and learn from all of them.”
At the same time, she explores other specialized areas.
“There are designated experts here at SCS in many professions and industries dedicated to caring for the environment. They are great resources to learn from.”
Where she would land one day was unknown for a while. Garber thought she’d become a professor or researcher at one time. But that changed when she interned with the United States Geological Survey, venturing beyond the classroom and lab to assess land use impacts on water quality and floodplains.
“I liked solving problems out in the field and decided pretty quickly that’s where I wanted to be,” she says.
The desire to teach is still in her, though. She travels state to state, presenting to regulators, technology experts, and other seasoned professionals and decision-makers on groundwater modeling, monitoring, and testing.
She also reaches out to ambitious geology students, visiting them on campus to tell them about deep-well injection and carbon sequestration and that the company she works for does these projects around the country. Their curriculum rarely includes an introduction to this specialized niche.
Remembering herself as one of them, Garber says, “I didn’t know of this work in college. I first learned as a newcomer to SCS.
It intrigued me, and I was excited to hear that the deep-well injection group needed a team member with a strong monitoring background. Later I thought, how cool it would be for students to discover this potential career path early.”
How else does she fill her days? Besides watching for and reporting developing storms to weather bureaus– she called in a funnel cloud once out in the field—she plays guitar in a local band.
Sometimes she goes solo and has played and sung at a nearby rehabilitation center and nursing home.
“I love playing music. It makes me happy. But what really feels good is to play for folks, especially those who may be more limited in what they can do and where they can go. For them, listening to music and dancing seems to be the highlight of their day. It makes me happy to see them happy.”
Ensuring a safe, healthy environment and a better world for everyone is about a commitment to people, community, and hard work. Thank you, Kacey Garber, for your dedication to keeping our groundwater safe, for helping execute innovative solutions to advance sustainability, and for bringing a lift to others along the way.
You, can make a difference in your life, your work, and your community!