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2020 NAEP Virtual Conference:

Women in STEM in Environmental Professions Initiative Spotlight & Q&A Panel
Followed by a networking session sponsored by Flatwoods Consulting Group
Sponsored by Flatwoods Consulting Group (Logo)

Wednesday, August 26 | 1:15 PM PT

Women in STEM in Environmental Professions Initiative Spotlight and Q&A Panel followed by a networking session sponsored by Flatwoods Consulting Group

In Tampa Bay, members of the local chapter of the Florida Association of Environmental Professionals have come together to form a group dedicated to empowering, encouraging, supporting, and mentoring women within the environmental field. This September, they will celebrate their 5th Annual Women in STEM workshop, where attendees have the opportunity to engage with, learn from, and network with top women leaders from local environmental businesses, agencies and universities. This will be the first time it is held virtually.

This conference session will focus on the success of the TBAEP’s Women in STEM Annual Workshop and group. What started as an idea for a new member event turned into an entirely new committee and a group of members comprised of like-minded women who engage with each other in other events throughout the year.

The Women in STEM group has four objectives:

  • to host an annual TBAEP Women in STEM Workshop;
  • to provide networking, mentoring, leadership, and experience opportunities to TBAEP members;
  • to support women in the STEM environmental careers while also encouraging non-members to join TBAEP;
  • and to provide mentor experience to the committee co-lead and help prepare this person to run for the TBAEP Board if not already a board member.

We believe that other chapters may benefit from hearing more about our story including where the idea came from, what our goals are, how we got it started, and how we keep it going. The presentation will include plenty of time for Q&A, as our goal is to help others who might be interested in this concept to take the first steps. 

 We invite women from all environmental professions to join us in this informative, enlightening, and supportive session and after-hours networking event via Zoom. 
Join Women in STEM Networking

About the Women in STEM

Gabriella Balsam 

Gabriella Balsam

Gabriella Balsam is an Environmental Scientist at Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD). She currently evaluates Environmental Resource Permits in the regulation division of SWFWMD. Gabriella received a B.S. and M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from USF. While completing her degrees, she has also worked in various aspects of water resource management, including National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System  Inspector with Angler Environmental and Student Lab Technician at Tampa Bay Water. She has been a member of the TBAEP BOD for two years. While on the board, she has served on the student chapter committee, Women in STEM committee, and 2019 FAEP conference committee. Additionally, she has served as President and Events Coordinator of the USF chapter of TBAEP, and Communications Chair for the 2014 NAEP Conference committee. 

 Laura Thorne: Moderator

Laura Thorne

Laura has always been a problem-solver and a strategist unafraid to take leaps. She has spent 25 years building programs, databases, designing processes, giving presentations and workshops, and leading people. Today, she operates from a call to action to help people in leadership roles to be more effective and to focus on profitable impact that delivers positive change as this is the change the world needs now. She uses a framework she designed called The Role Model Way!™ to deliver highly actionable consulting, facilitation, and leadership development programs. In 2015, she spearheaded a Women in STEM group and annual workshop now in its 4th sold-out year. She’s now helping others around the world to develop their leadership events. Laura holds a BS in Biology from the University of South Florida (USF), is a certified Project Manager, certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and serves on the NAEP board.


Carrie Kelly: Panel Moderator

Carrie Kelly
Panel Moderator

Carrie Kelly is a Senior Ecologist with Flatwoods Consulting Group in Tampa, Florida with 18 years of experience. Carrie earned a B.S, degree in Environmental Science and Biology from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She has a depth of experience in wildlife ecology and permitting; wetland delineation, evaluation and permitting; environmental permit compliance; and aquatic system evaluation. She is a Gopher Tortoise Agent and Registered Burrowing Owl Agent as authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and is certified in the Stream Condition Index, Stream Habitat Assessment, and Lake Vegetation Index by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the Wetland Assessment Procedure by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Carrie is actively involved with the Tampa Bay Association of Environmental Professionals and is currently the Vice President of the Florida Association of Water Quality Control. In her free time, Carrie is somewhat of a wanderlust, passionate about traveling the world.

Marie Campbell: Panelist

Marie Campbell 

Marie is principal and owner of Sapphos Environmental, Inc. She is an environmental compliance specialist with more than 35 years of experience in managing public- and private-sector projects that require strategic planning, environmental compliance documentation, and resource management. She is recognized by the Los Angeles Bar Association as an expert on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). She has extensive experience with environmental compliance documentation for capital improvement projects for transportation, energy, recreation, health care, and water. She has served as a strategic environmental advisor on complex joint environmental impact statements and environmental impact reports for projects such as multiple conventional and renewable energy projects, the Los Angeles International Airport Master Plan and subsequent improvements, China Shipping Yard, and the Los Angeles County Drainage Area. She served as the project manager for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Campus and Long Beach Memorial Master Plan. She has overseen the entitlement and environmental analysis and permitting for over 3,000 megawatts of renewable and conventional energy projects and transmission facilities in the western United States.

Christine Owen: Panelist

Christine Owen

Chris is the Director of Water and Reuse Innovations for Hazen and Sawyer.  She has 29 years of experience in water quality, research, treatment and regulatory compliance.  Her utility roles have included regulatory compliance, research, laboratory management, source water assessment and protection, and distribution system issues.  Research work included investigations of UF/MF/RO membranes, online monitoring, total coliform occurrence, enhanced coagulation, biofiltration, distribution system, corrosion, biostability, ion exchange, chloramine chemistry and stability, contaminants of emerging concern, and algal toxins.  She is active in regulatory issues at the state and federal levels, promoting utility concerns and science-based decisions.  She served on the USEPA SAB for Drinking Water and the USEPA NACEPT. She is an active member of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), serving as a Trustee and the current Chair of the Water Science and Research Division. She is a Trustee for WateReuse FL and the President of the Board of Directors for the American Membrane Technology Association.  She has been active in the Water Research Foundation (WRF) and the WateReuse Foundation for more than 20 years.  

Susan Stephens: Panelist

Susan Stephens

Susan L. Stephens is a Shareholder at Hopping Green & Sams, P.A., in Tallahassee, Florida, practicing environmental and administrative law, including rulemaking practice and procedure and administrative litigation. She is board certified by the Florida Bar in State and Federal Government and Administrative Practice. She has represented clients before various federal, state, regional, and local environmental agencies in connection with obtaining, and defending administrative challenges to, environmental permits for regulated activities and in various rulemaking and policy development initiatives. Her particular focus is on wetlands, conservation banking, natural resource extraction, stormwater and wastewater permitting, and state and federal listed wildlife issues and her experience in these areas has run the gamut from property due diligence to contract negotiation, from policy development to permitting. She also represents clients on environmental compliance and enforcement matters. Susan graduated from the Florida State University College of Law in 1993 with highest honors. She is active with the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment and Energy Resources (SEER), is an editor for SEER’s bi-monthly newsletter, Trends, and has served in a leadership role on a number of SEER committees, including as the immediate past chair of the Endangered Species Committee. Susan has lived in Tallahassee with her husband Richard since 1989 and has two grown sons, neither of which had any interest in becoming a lawyer. In her spare time, she volunteers with her church, reads, and does a variety of back-to-nature activities like hiking and kayaking, provided they don’t require too much hand-eye coordination.

Leslie Tice: Panelist

Leslie Tice

Leslie Tice is a Certified Environmental Professional with 22 years of experience. Professionally she serves as the Southwest Regional Environmental Director at HDR overseeing about 120 environmental professionals. Leslie is a Senior Project Manager leading CEQA and NEPA projects as well as environmental program management. As a matter of fact, Leslie is presenting at this conference on the topic of Advancing Program Management through More Integrated Environmental Consideration.  Leslie has been a member of NAEP and both Hawaii and California affiliate AEPs since the beginning of her career. She’s held a range of roles in each of these organizations, a consistent professional investment that has provided her a foundation to her career overall. Here she’s developed an extensive network and a touch point for subject matter and case law issues across the industry. She’s developed skills in public speaking, team management, and technical bases that have helped her advance quickly in her professional position. Leslie is a mother of a six year old daughter as well and has realized both the challenges and benefits of balancing her professional life and her family life. Overall, Leslie feels that more women in leadership positions means that we can build women and diversity more holistically across all levels.

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