Meet Kaylee Moser, a scientist with our environmental planning and compliance team in Seattle. She has 9 years of industry experience, 5 of which have been with Parametrix. Recently, she earned her Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) certification. We asked her a few questions about her career, inspiration, and favorite projects. Read her responses below.
What inspired you to pursue a career as a wetland scientist?
I have always been fascinated by aquatic ecology since playing in the creeks behind my house in Ohio as a kid. I started my career in fisheries and environmental education and then shifted into the wetlands world here at Parametrix after completing the University of Washington Wetland Sciences and Management Certificate program in 2017. I was inspired to do the program after working for a timber company in coastal Oregon where I performed endangered species surveys and other regulatory compliance-based work, including a few wetland delineations.
Tell us about your career. How long have you been in this field? What are your areas of expertise?
I have been in the natural resources field for 9 years and specifically in the wetland sciences realm for about 5 years. Before coming to Parametrix, I worked for a non-profit stream restoration group and then bounced around different government agencies (USFWS in Lacey, WDFW, Dept of Ecology) and private companies conducting field work related to fisheries, water quality, and endangered species surveys. I have been privileged to explore a variety of different ecosystems throughout the PNW in my career. In the past five years at Parametrix, I have continued to learn and explore and am now certified as a Professional Wetland Scientist. I would say my areas of expertise include organizing logistics and leading field crews for wetland and stream delineations, fish exclusions, and wildlife (ESA and MBTA) surveys. I also completed the University of Washington’s GIS certificate program which strengthened my knowledge on the intersection of natural resources and spatial technology.
What do you enjoy most about being a wetland scientist?
I enjoy being able to explore and identify patterns in the landscape. Delineating a wetland can be like solving a puzzle (although sometimes a painful, Himalayan Blackberry-filled puzzle). There are multiple factors to consider, such as the history of the study area, topography, soil conditions, recent climatic conditions, plant life, etc. Every site is different. I enjoy having knowledge on plant identification and the wetland indicator status of species- it allows me to quickly read a landscape and identify patterns. The botany and soil knowledge that I have gained throughout my education and career also translates into my personal hobbies, including mushroom foraging, gardening, and wildcrafting
Do you have a favorite project you have worked on? If so, tell us about it.
One of my favorite projects that I have worked on as a Wetland Scientist was the Lakeview Airport and Garrett Solar Array Sites near the town of Lakeview, Oregon. The study area for these sites was a mosaic of inter-mountains basin playa, inter-mountain basin greasewood flats, and Columbia plateau low sagebrush steppe ecological communities totaling 564 acres. I had a lot of fun exploring this ecosystem, identifying new plants, and working as a team to map and understand the patterns in the landscape to complete the natural resource permitting for future solar arrays.