Right Whale Paper Published
A paper by GMI marine scientists Amy Whitt, Kathleen Dudzinski, and Jennifer Laliberté has been published in the journal Endangered Species Research. The authors summarize right whale sightings and acoustic data collected from the first year-round study dedicated to marine mammals in New Jersey’s nearshore waters.
Cultural Resources TxDOT Win
The Cultural Resources group of the GMI Environmental Services Division was awarded an Archeological General Services contract by the Texas Department of Transportation in February. One of four awardees, GMI will be involved in archeological survey, test excavations for National Register eligibility determinations, and data recovery projects across the state of Texas.
Biological Inventory Study for Melrose AFR
GMI wildlife biologists, in conjunction with Cannon AFB and Melrose AFR, initiated surveys for a Biological Inventory Study of a 10,968 acre area of land gifted to Melrose AFR by the state of New Mexico.
GMI to Support Fishermen's Energy with Environmental Impact Efforts
As part of the Energy Department's broader efforts to launch an offshore wind industry in the United States, GMI will support the Fishermen's Energy team with R&D for the advancement of traditional thermal and video imaging systems related to the assessment of nocturnal animal (bird, bat) occurrence, strikes and behavior around offshore wind turbines.
GMI Researchers Contribute to Texas Archaeological Literature
Nancy Kenmotsu is a co-editor and author of a new book published by Texas A&M University Press: The Toyah Phase of Central Texas: Late Prehistoric Economic and Social Processes. The volume is about the hunter-gatherers living in central Texas from AD 1300 – 1700.
Estabrook Heads Cultural Resources Dept.
Following 20+ years working as a Project/Program Manager for several of the largest cultural resources firms in Florida, Rich Estabrook has joined GMI as Cultural Resources Program Manager in the Plano corporate office.
January 8, 2013
A paper by GMI marine scientists Amy Whitt, Kathleen Dudzinski, and Jennifer Laliberté has been published in the journal Endangered Species Research. In the paper titled "North Atlantic right whale distribution and seasonal occurrence in nearshore waters off New Jersey and implications for management," the authors summarize right whale sightings and acoustic data collected from the first year-round study dedicated to marine mammals in New Jersey’s nearshore waters. The results of this study augment the current understanding of right whale seasonal distribution and movement patterns along their migratory corridor between feeding and calving grounds. Results also provide support for the extension of critical habitat to include the entire migratory path and provide vital information for developing monitoring and mitigation protocols in advance of offshore wind development in this specific region.
Whitt, A.D., K. Dudzinski, and J.R. Laliberté. In press. North Atlantic right whale distribution and seasonal occurrence in nearshore waters off New Jersey and implications for management. Endangered Species Research: doi:10.3354/esr00486.
December 17, 2012
Fishermen’s Energy (FE) has been selected by The U.S. Department of Energy — Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Wind Program to demonstrate next-generation offshore wind technologies. As part of the Energy Department's broader efforts to launch an offshore wind industry in the United States, these engineering, design, and deployment projects will support innovative offshore installations in state and federal waters for commercial operation. In year one (initial phase) of the five year program, GMI will support FE with R&D efforts to advance the development of traditional thermal and video imaging systems for assessment of nocturnal animal (bird, bat) occurrence, strikes and behavior around offshore wind turbines. Additionally, GMI has been tasked with testing and deploying a series of innovative after-dark marine mammal detection techniques and to demonstrate to the National Marine Fisheries Service that an exclusionary zone may be effectively maintained to allow pile driving without presenting risk of harm to marine mammals. FE’s funding application also included various additional environmental tasks that are anticipated to occur following the conclusion of the initial phase of the five year program.
November 20, 2012
Nancy Kenmotsu is a co-editor and author of a new book published by Texas A&M University Press: The Toyah Phase of Central Texas: Late Prehistoric Economic and Social Processes. The volume is about the hunter-gatherers living in central Texas from AD 1300 – 1700, and contains eight interpretive studies by researchers investigating these interesting people who had a distinctive stone tool kit and a bone-tempered pottery tradition. Hunter-gatherers are often thought to live and travel in small family groups. However, Nancy’s chapter focuses on the evidence from Spanish documents that these people actually traveled in quite large groups, sometimes in excess of several hundred people speaking three to six distinct languages. Nancy has been a project manager with Geo-Marine since 2006 and formerly directed the historical and archaeological program at the Texas Department of Transportation. She has a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin.
Leonard Kemp, a principal investigator and archaeologist in Geo-Marine’s Plano office, is co-author of one of the chapters in Nancy’s book. The chapter takes a new look at the role of bison in the Toyah phase. Archaeologists have long believed there was an increase in bison in central and adjacent areas of Texas beginning around AD 1300. Leonard and his co-authors, using a variety of ecological indices, conclude that there may have actually been a decrease.
In October 2012, Rich Estabrook came on-board as Geo-Marine's new Cultural Resources Program Manager in the Plano corporate office. Rich is joining GMI after 20+ years working as a Project/Program Manager for several of the largest cultural resources firms in Florida. Rich recently relocated to Plano, Texas from Gainesville, Florida where he served as the Regional Director for the Florida Public Archaeology Network at the University of South Florida (USF) for the past six years. Rich brings a wealth of archaeological knowledge and an understanding of cutting-edge technological approaches that will help Geo-Marine be competitive in today's market.
Rich holds a bachelor's degree in Anthropology and History from Stony Brook University in New York and a master's degree and doctorate in Applied Anthropology from USF in Tampa. He also holds a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Rich's dissertation research included an analysis of the prehistoric stone tools from the famous Crystal River archaeological site in coastal Citrus County and the GIS-based Bayesian statistical model used to predict the locations of the sources of stone used by prehistoric peoples in order to make the stone knives and spear points on which their livelihoods depended.
Rich has extensive experience managing a variety of complex cultural resource projects for transportation, pipeline, and large-scale development projects. This experience includes work on the Tampa Interstate Study, the EA/EIS study focused on the reconstruction of the I4/I275 interchange north of downtown Tampa as well as the corresponding I4 Corridor investigation connecting Tampa to Orlando and ultimately I95 on Florida’s East Coast. Having worked on several large pipeline projects, Rich completed the historic properties evaluation for the terrestrial portion of the Buccaneer Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline corridor extending from Mobile, Alabama to southeastern Florida. Rich also managed the cultural resources evaluation for the siting and construction of the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, the first completely new international airport constructed in a decade. He also served as Project Manager for many Florida Department of Transportation District-wide Cultural Resource contracts including District 4 (Fort Lauderdale) and District 2 (Lake City) as well as work on contracts for all seven FDOT districts and Florida'’s Turnpike Enterprise.
Rich and his wife Debbie are busy with the relocation of their books and cats to Texas. Once settled in the historic home of their dreams, Rich will be looking for sea kayaking opportunities and biking trails in northeast Texas and along the Gulf Coast.
October 25, 2012
The 2012 Archaeology Fair was a rousing success this year! The weather was picture-perfect for a great day at Bob Woodruff Park in Plano. Families lined up early to work with Geo-Marine archaeologists in the hands-on excavation area. Archaeology Land activities included face-painting, corn husk doll making, corn grinding, a petroglyph wall, painted pebbles, pottery design, and cordage bracelets. The tot-dig area was very popular, with many a great find being made by budding "junior archaeologists."
The highlight of the event was the performances by the Bear Claw Singers, a Native American drummer and singer group who shared their considerable talents with a crowd of over 400 people. Guided tours of the nearby creek, atl-atl throwing, and educational talks and signage gave the public a better sense of why archaeology, history, and cultural diversity are important in their lives.
Geo-Marine has worked with the Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation and the City of Plano for 10 years to provide this event for the youth of Plano and the surrounding metroplex. Geo-Marine personnel have been responsible for the planning and implementation of the event, while Bonnie Peter has been instrumental in the development and oversight of the Archaeology Land activities. Additional volunteers from the University of Texas at Arlington, the Tarrant County Archeological Society, the National Honor Societies at John Paul II High School and Plano Senior High, and the History Club at Plano East Senior High School made this day-long event possible. Over 500 volunteer hours went into the preparation and execution of this event.
NOAA’s stranding networks face huge challenges when trying to locate stranded marine mammals and then respond to them in a timely manner in order to obtain valuable data and/or initiate rescue/rehabilitation efforts. In addition, NOAA’s managers are faced with the challenge of minimizing harassment and eliminating feeding violations by the public and some tour operators when they encounter wild marine mammals.
GMI’s marine biologists Amy Whitt and Jennifer Laliberté and ARA’s software developers Steven Antrim and Charles Cramer are working collaboratively with NOAA Fisheries Service (Southeast Region) to create, test, and disseminate the stranding and viewing/identification apps for both iPhone and Android platforms. The team is supported by a diverse mix of regional, national, and international supporters, including Mote Marine Lab, Audubon Nature Institute, Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program, Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network, Sea to Shore Alliance, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Dolphin Communication Project, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The popularity of smartphone apps and the ease with which these can store, provide, and report information make them an ideal avenue for promoting responsible viewing and stranding reporting in the Southeast U.S. Although apps cannot solely stop illegal activity or lead to reports of all stranded animals, the apps will appeal to a wide audience and give NOAA Fisheries Service’s Southeast Region personnel and other stakeholders an innovative avenue for promoting the conservation of marine mammals in the Southeast U.S.
Whitt, A.D. 2012. Review of Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises: A World Handbook for Cetacean Habitat Conservation and Planning, 2nd Edition, by Erich Hoyt. Aquatic Mammals 38(2): 224-226.
The El Paso office of Geo-Marine was presented an Honorable Mention Award for Best Contract Employee Team/Organization during the Fort Bliss 17th Annual Environmental Quality & Energy Excellence Awards 2012 ceremony. A recent project providing the recordation and interpretation of rock art at Fort Bliss was singled out for this award. Myles Miller and Leonard Kemp spearheaded this effort which included rock art specialists and digital recording of the rock art using structure from motion software.
May 29, 2012
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recently issued a permit to GMI for boat-based surveys on marine mammals and sea turtles. This permit is pursuant to the regulations governing the "taking" of marine mammals and endangered and threatened species (provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act, respectively). The permit authorizes GMI to "take" a specified number of protected species for scientific purposes. The main objective of the permitted activity is to assess the distribution, abundance, behavior, and migration of marine mammals and to record sightings of sea turtles in nearshore waters from southern New Jersey to North Carolina. This is a region of significant potential offshore wind farm development.
May 14, 2012
As a full service company, Geo-Marine must venture into new environmental arenas to offer innovative services to clients. As part of the 2001 Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy, Department of Defense installations with wildland fire risk or the desire to conduct prescribed burns must develop a Wildland Fire Management Plan (WFMP). To date, GMI has completed a number of WFMPs for military installations, including Naval Air Station Patuxent River (NAS PAX) in Maryland. One year after accepting the final WFMP, NAS PAX contracted GMI to implement one portion of the plan by conducting a prescribed burn in a grassland area at NAS PAX making it GMI’s first prescribed burn.
Prescribed burning is a management tool used by natural resources professionals to apply fire to natural systems in a controlled setting for natural resources management purposes. Prescribed fire lessens the potential for devastating wildfire by reducing accumulated brush and leaf litter in natural areas which can easily ignite during dry, hot weather. It can also help enhance airfields, recreational areas, and plant and wildlife habitat.
GMI conducted the NAS PAX on-installation prescribed burn at Fishing Point on March 29, 2012, to stimulate native grass growth and reduce wildfire potential. The site is a 22-acre capped landfill that was previously restored to a native, warm-season grass habitat for bobwhite quail. The prescribed burn was part of a larger Installation Restoration project managed by Hampton GMI’s Meegan Wallace. Subcontracted Burn Boss, James Remuzzi of Sustainable Solutions, LLC conducted the burn, and Hampton GMI wildland fire certified employees Meredith Malone, Jef DeBerry, and Chris Lotts served as part of the burn crew. Another area at a NAS PAX airfield runway is scheduled to be burned in Spring 2013 and a campground site on the installation will be burned in 2014 by GMI and Sustainable Solutions. NAS PAX plans to hire the GMI team to burn the three sites on a rotating cycle every other year.
May 16, 2012
Wildlife biologist Chris Taylor, in conjunction with USACE CERL-22 research, provided support of a Herpetofauna Inventory Study on Fairchild Air Force Base (FAFB), Washington. The goal of the study was to determine the herpetofauna populations utilizing FAFB lands. GMI used a variety of survey techniques to assist the USACE CERL-22 Research Team including road-cruising, cover boards, time-constrained visual encounter surveys, amphibian call surveys, and anuran acoustics monitoring via Wildlife Acoustics’ Song Meter SM2+ (a.k.a. Frog Logger). Ample data was collected to characterize the herpetofauna populations present on FAFB, including the discovery of multiple populations of the Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris), a state Candidate species.
In addition to providing support for the Herpetofauna Inventory Study, GMI also assisted in swabbing frogs to provide samples to test for the presence/absence of the Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). This fungus infects almost 450 amphibian species globally resulting in 100% mortality in some of the infected species.
Plano, Texas, March 15, 2012
Geo-Marine, Inc. announced today its selection as an AFRC contractor under the new Command-wide Operations and Maintenance Project Execution Contract (COMPEC) II. Geo-Marine is one of a small number of contractors selected for the 5-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract.
Under the contract, Geo-Marine will provide a range of construction and engineering services activities supporting Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization (S/R&M) of real property on Reserve installations and tenant locations.
"This second generation contract replaces our existing COMPEC contract," said Vice President Larry Kaminsky. "We look forward to our continued relationship with AFRC and providing design-build services for them throughout the United States."
Plano, Texas, October 13, 2011
Pint-sized explorers, budding artists and junior archaeologists were among those who visited this year's Plano Archaeology Fair on Saturday, October 8 at Bob Woodruff Park in Plano. The event was sponsored by Geo-Marine, Inc., The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, and the City of Plano. This is the ninth Archaeology Fair that Geo-Marine staff members have made possible in the past decade.
The event drew a crowd of over 600 people from Plano and surrounding cities. Activities included hands-on excavation, a sandbox for small children, a flintknapping demonstration, atlatl throw, basket and Ojo de Dios weaving, rock painting, corn grinding, face painting, a geological tour of the creek, and Native American drummers and dancers.
"It took a lot of hard work behind the scenes to make this happen," stated V.P. Duane Peter. "I would like to extend a special thanks to Michelle Wurtz, Steve Hunt, Lindsey Skelton and Bonnie Peter for contributing to the success of this annual event. Scores of volunteers, friends of GMI and National Honor Society students, were essential to the success of the fair."
GMI is a wholly owned subsidiary of ARA, but under Beckemeyer’s leadership, it will be aligned with the ARA Transportation Sector to promote greater collaboration and leveraging of our combined capabilities.
“I am honored with the opportunity to lead the GMI operation, and I am excited about the future of this new enterprise. The organization has a great deal to offer our customers, and many opportunities exist for the combined group to continue to grow and provide opportunities for staff to pursue work they are passionate about, develop their careers, and be rewarded for success,” Beckemeyer said.
“Curt is a proven leader who was instrumental in identifying GMI and bringing them into ARA. Curt and his staff have worked closely with GMI over the past few years to provide infrastructure-related services to the Air Force, and I am confident in his abilities to lead GMI and help them continue to be successful,” ARA CEO and President Dr. Rob Sues said.
Beckemeyer has been with ARA since 1999. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, and he has 25 years of experience in transportation and infrastructure, including asset management, pavement engineering, construction quality assurance, value engineering, life cycle cost analysis, and technology transfer. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and Wisconsin. He participates in numerous professional organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Transportation Research Board.
Plano, Texas, July 21, 2011
Based upon requirements from the National Marine Fisheries Service, the National Park Service recently contracted GMI to conduct visual monitoring for Southern Resident killer whales (SRKWs) during sheet and pipe pile driving operations in Port Angeles, Washington. Visual monitoring is required in an effort to implement protective measures and reduce impacts on the endangered SRKWs known to occur in the region.
Construction activities will be centered at the Nippon Paper Industries paper mill, located on Ediz Hook and will include both pile driving and vibratory extraction procedures. Improvements to the facility will mitigate increased sediment influx following the future removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon Dams upriver. The NPS requested a team of no less than two visual monitors during all pile installation/extraction operations.
Plano, Texas, May 18, 2011
Geo-Marine has completed 12 months of pre-construction avian and marine mammal monitoring for Fishermen’s Energy, resulting in approval from the New Jersey State House Commission for a Green Acres permit and the Tidelands Council for an electric line easement and turbine locations license required to build a demonstration-scale six turbine Fishermen's Atlantic City Windfarm. These were the remaining State permits required for the project to commence construction. This wind energy project will be located in New Jersey State waters off the coast of Atlantic City.
"The goal is to provide spatial and temporal data on avian, marine mammal, and sea turtle species utilizing these offshore waters as the beginning of a multi-year study for evaluating the potential ecological impacts of the windfarm," commented Christopher Clark, GMI's Director, Renewable Energy Services. "This effort will fulfill the data needs identified in the project’s New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) permit application, as well as NJDEP’s species-survey requirements outlined in the Technical Manual for Evaluating Wildlife Impacts of Wind Turbines Requiring Coastal Permits."
Fishermen’s Energy is a developer of offshore wind energy projects, founded by New Jersey commercial fishermen to respond to the public’s need to develop the ocean for renewable wind energy. Fishermen’s goal is to turn the North Atlantic coastal waters into an unmatched source of clean energy, while maintaining a vibrant commercial fishing industry.
Plano, Texas, February 2011
The Cultural Resources Division (CRD) of Geo-Marine is the proud recipient of the 2011 Preservation Idaho Orchid Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation for the book, Mountain Home AFB Modern. For 34 years, Preservation Idaho has recognized positive contributions to historic preservation with the prestigious Orchid Award.
Mountain Home AFB Modern is a 28-page, full-color book that highlights the rather unique manner in which Mountain Home AFB tackled an age-old problem—quality housing for servicemen and their families. Faced with a housing shortage after World War II, Mountain Home AFB hired the renowned architects, Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander, along with a prominent local firm—Hummel, Hummel, and Jones (designers of the Idaho state capitol). Together, this outstanding group of architects presented Mountain Home AFB with some of the most modern homes the military had ever witnessed. Initially criticized for being “too Californian” for the stark, sagebrush landscape of Mountain Home, the houses won the military’s ‘best new housing’ award in 1959.
Based on extensive research, Mountain Home AFB Modern illuminates military life during the Cold War with historic photos, original Neutra designs, and narrative text. Intended for a broad audience, the book provides a rare opportunity for readers to appreciate modern, military architecture within its historic context. In the words of Sheri Robertson, Cultural Resources Manager at Mountain Home AFB, the “booklet was met with rave reviews by both the preservation community and the public.”
Plano, Texas, September 2010
GMI has been contracted by the National Park Service (NPS), for a second year, to conduct visual marine mammal and underwater acoustic monitoring during construction of a pier in Bechers Bay, Santa Rosa Island located within the Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary.
Working in coordination with NPS personnel and representatives of the construction crew, GMI scientists will resume monitoring efforts for potential marine mammal presence in an identified acoustic safety zone during all in-water construction activities. Acoustic sound pressure levels (SPLs) related to construction activities will be monitored to establish acoustic safety zone boundaries (the area in which noise levels are lower than 160dB re 1μPa[rms]).
For more information contact Duane Peter at 972.423.5480.
Plano, Texas, August 2010
Dudzinski, K.M., S.J. Brown, M. Lammers, K. Lucke, D. Mann, P. Simard, C. Wall, M.H. Rasmussen, E.E. Magnúsdóttir, J. Tougaard, and N. Eriksen. 2010.
Trouble-shooting deployment and recovery options for various stationary passive acoustic monitoring devices in both shallow and deep water applications. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (in press).
Deployment of any type of measuring device into the ocean, whether to shallow or deeper depths, is accompanied by the hope that this equipment and associated data will be recovered. The ocean is harsh on gear. Salt water corrodes. Currents, tides, surge, storms, and winds collaborate to increase the severity of the conditions that monitoring devices will endure. All ocean-related research has encountered the situations described in this paper. In collating the details of various deployment and recovery scenarios related to stationary passive acoustic monitoring use in the ocean, it is the intent of this paper to share trouble-shooting successes and failures to guide future work with this gear to monitor marine mammal, fish, and ambient (biologic and anthropogenic) sounds in the ocean – in both coastal and open waters.
Plano, Texas, April 2010
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has approved GMI’s newly designed Marine Mammal Observer (MMO) interactive training curriculum, developed by a seismic-industry mitigation expert. The observations and documentation of marine mammals during seismic acquisition operations help support permit requirements and ensure that the provisions of the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act and the U.S. Endangered Species Act are observed.
The training course educates and prepares participants in mitigation compliance regulations and procedures for seismic surveys in the Gulf of Mexico. Observers are given an introduction to the BOEMRE and the MMO program to ensure they understand the rationale behind the Notice to Lessees (NTL) and its regulations and a brief background in seismic acquisition and how anthropogenic sound affects marine mammals. The course further educates the participant in the contents and correct implementation of the current NTL and how to properly report any and all NTL violations. Observers are also instructed on protected species (including marine mammals and sea turtles) identification practices and the reporting process. Upon completion of the training course, participants are fully certified for marine mammal monitoring during seismic operations.
For more information contact Duane Peter at 972.423.5480.
Plano, Texas, April 27, 2010
GMI has been contracted to provide environmental monitoring of construction crews along the California and Arizona borders. Construction crews will be improving the drainage areas under the newly constructed border fence to minimize erosion and protect the fence.
Four fence sectors are being monitored, which include the Tucson, Yuma, San Diego, and El Centro sectors. All construction is slated for completion in August 2010. GMI will spot monitor crews at the beginning, mid-point, and completion of construction to ensure that proper precautions are being implemented to minimize impacts to listed species, sensitive habitats, and cultural resources.
The project kicked-off in April 2010 with the completion of migratory bird/nesting surveys in the Tucson and Yuma districts.
For more information contact Suzanne Bates at 972.423.5480.
The following article, which highlights GMI's experience in the wind energy industry, appeared in the January/February issue of Energy International Quarterly.
by Denene Brox
The company's Vice President of Environmental Services Jason See says Geo-Marine, Inc. (GMI) kind of fell into the wind industry. "We'd done a lot of work with the Department of Defense and the US Navy," See says. "And so when wind, and specifically off-shore wind, began to take off, we were uniquely positioned to address all of the needs of this growing industry.
GMI provides engineering design, construction management, environmental planning and programming, and other archeological services in support of a wide range of government, industry, and commercial clients. The company was founded 36 years ago and has grown to seven US-based offices. In July, Applied Research Associates (ARA), an international research and engineering company specializing in the physical sciences, acquired GMI through a merger. The company will continue to operate under the name GMI and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of ARA. It will also continue to occupy what is an increasingly valuable niche in its industry.
"There's not much competition from companies doing exactly what we do," says See, who's been with GMI for four and a half years. "To look at it another way, there are lots of companies that do parts of what we do. For example, there are companies that can just do cultural resource work; but as far as companies that have all of the capabilities in-house and highly experienced people that can do this, they are few and far between."
GMI specializes in four key areas: environmental resources, cultural resources, environmental engineering, and energy engineering. Clients call on the company for siting, routing, and permitting projects in order to meet federal, state, and local requirements. The firm is currently working on a $4.9 million contract with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, working in coastal waters to collect data on birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals over the span of 24 months. One of the primary goals for the New Jersey project is to determine the needs, costs, and benefits of offshore wind turbines in comparison to other electric-power sources including fossil, nuclear, and renewable fuels, as part of the state's long-term energy needs.
The firm's expert team consists of scientists, engineers, and statistics experts who conduct studies in support of off-shore wind-power development. The GMI team helps clients balance the importance of environmental stewardship with accomplishing their goals of developing offshore facilities. The level of expertise required for this kind of analysis is what sets GMI apart from other firms, See says. "One of the key things that Geo-Marine does is to make sure that we have high-quality employees and well-known experts in the field,” he says.
To this end, GMI relies on university recruiting and industry networking to locate qualified employees. "We go to universities that are training biologists in understanding things like radar systems in conjunction with bird migration," says Dan Wilkinson, PhD, senior vice president of GMl's environmental division. "There aren't too many universities around that fit the criteria, so we go to select universities, like Clemson University in South Carolina. We also recruit a lot of specialized staff, and work with universities when we don't have expertise in-house."
Most of the company's marketing is done through old-fashioned networking, like attending conferences sponsored by associations such as the American Wind Energy Association. Its word-of-mouth marketing strategy has also spread overseas, landing GMI a healthy number of projects in Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia.
"One of our best marketing strategies is the quality of work that Geo-Marine does. We're often referred to other developers because of the data that we produce for the industry," Wilkinson says, noting that to date, GMI has completed more than 3,500 projects.
"This field is a pretty tight-knit community at this point," See says. "Producing top information for the industry is one of the best marketing tools for us."