After earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, Thomas worked as a homebuilder and then went to work for a contractor whose business included wetland and stream restoration. Thomas found the wetlands projects intriguing, so he pursued a wetlands scientist certificate at the University of Washington. When he learned about an opportunity at GeoEngineers, he jumped at the chance to work with experts in designing habitat projects.
Thomas describes his role as that of a “permitting biologist” who addresses the environmental aspects of infrastructure projects such as roads, pipelines and transmission lines. He assesses how these proposed projects may impact the natural environment and assists in designing projects that minimize or avoid those impacts. He especially likes getting to spend time in the field. “I’m happiest when I’m in the field, observing natural systems and figuring out they function,” Thomas explains, but says he enjoys his colleagues as well. “I like working with a bunch of people who do a lot of different things—everybody at GeoEngineers is an expert in something. It’s a great way to learn.”
In the wintertime, Thomas enjoys snow-skiing adventures. Back at home, he likes to tinker with his house and often persuades his wife and two small daughters to join in on the projects. “Everyone likes projects,” he claims. He must be right: So far, they have helped him create a backyard wetland and two tree houses!