Colorado Department of Transportation
Before CDOT I had been a United States Navy Corpsman and specialized as a Dermatology Technician. When I left the Navy, I had a career change from the medical field to more of an outside technician career where I worked for the Cherry Creek Schools as a ground’s maintenance technician (Specifically a Heavy Equipment Operator), with most of my work consisting of mowing operations, and vegetation management in general. Some of this work included noxious and invasive vegetation management. At this time, I was not a professional, I was a skilled technician, however, this is where the seed was planted that I would like to work with vegetation management in some way or form, I enjoyed this work – outside, fresh air, etc.,
From the school District I moved to CDOT and have been employed by CDOT for 18+ years; 13 of those years was performing general maintenance in the Metro Denver Area. General Maintenance included road & bridge maintenance, snow removal, as well as general vegetation management, including noxious and invasive vegetation management with the help of our professional licensed Right of Way applicators. During those 13 years I was also working concurrently on getting my B.S. in Environmental Sciences, with a large push to have my education completed and degree in hand by 2017. My focus in Environmental Science was Land Use/Stewardship/Conservation and Sustainable Transportation, which has led me down the road I am previously on.
In 2018 – I promoted to an Environmental Specialist for the Metro Denver – working mainly on Permanent Water Quality Maintenance including vegetation management within those specific areas.
In 2019 to current – I moved from the Metro Denver area to the CDOT Division of Maintenance Operations Statewide Position as the PWQ Maintenance Coordinator/Roadside Manager & CDOT Statewide Noxious Weed Coordinator. This current role manages CDOT’s Roadside Management and Operations which includes all-things vegetation. During this time: I have updated CDOT’s Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Guide, Standardized and Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) Template for Noxious Weed Management utilized between CDOT & Colorado Counties, wrote, and manage a contract for Post Construction Establishment Phase – which helps to close open CSP and 404 permits, etc., in a quicker manner – many of these contracts include noxious weed management in wetland areas and revegetation needs. Other parts of the job include writing, obtaining, and managing a noxious weed mapping contract & contractor, supporting the CDOT maintenance sections in all things roadside management which includes mowing operations and training, pesticide application – personnel licensing, public applicator licensing, continued training, and education, CDOT pesticide application specific training, updating program documents, policies, etc., associated with vegetation management and roadside appearances.