For Elizabeth Bishop, Senior Technical Specialist at Haley & Aldrich, Inc., working in the environmental remediation industry is especially satisfying because she gets to work with great people while simultaneously helping to preserve our planet for future generations. She begins, “I do like playing a part in cleaning up our environment, but as much as anything I love the people I work with here at Haley & Aldrich – they genuinely care about each other. Everyone likes what they do. They are passionate, smart, supportive, and innovative, and they keep me moving forward, both technically and personally. It’s also nice to know that when things get challenging, they have your back and ensure you’re safe and healthy above everything else.” She also enjoys working in a field that continues to challenge and interest her. She continues, “I still love what I do. I developed a keen interest in environmental science during my undergraduate studies in Environmental Chemistry at Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C.” She would then go on to attend graduate school at Penn State, where she performed research on ZVI and other remediation chemistries. She continues, “I am currently finishing up my Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering and Science at Johns Hopkins University.”
Bishop initially joined Haley & Aldrich as a Technical Specialist eight years ago, before being promoted to her current senior level position. Prior to joining Haley & Aldrich, she worked as the Vice President of Operations for a small environmental services firm. She shares, “It sounds fancy, but it was just an 11-person company at the time.” In her current role with Haley & Aldrich, she designs remedies and solutions for contaminated sites, coordinates and plans the implementation, and manages or trains others to oversee or conduct the work. She adds, “I then evaluate the data as it comes in to determine the efficacy of the remedy. I look at sites holistically for natural attenuation, studying the metagenomics and geochemistry, to gain a better understanding of what is going on in the subsurface at my sites. I love figuring out the ‘puzzle’ in order to clean up a site in a timely and cost-effective way.” She also appreciates that she is working in an industry that reflects her university studies. “When I left grad school, I went straight into the field and have been doing it ever since. I went to school for exactly what I’m doing and I enjoy it!”
To stay abreast of current trends and emerging technologies, she regularly attends webinars and reads as much current industry information as possible, while striving to help Haley & Aldrich achieve its long-term goals. She shares, “Haley & Aldrich is committed to innovative approaches to integrate technology and human potential while tackling tough issues facing our industry. To do this, the company is focused on increasing diversity, investing in our staff and incorporating evolving and new technology to create value for our clients.”
When asked what she likes best about working with REGENESIS, Bishop says she appreciates that they are product-focused. She continues, “REGENESIS is invested in their products, which is good to see. They are not just selling a commodity. Thus far, we’ve enjoyed success with 3-D® Microemulsion (3DME) and sulfidated S-MicroZVI® . We have seen better results with 3DME than some of the other electron donors on the market.” Working with REGENESIS, she values the technical knowledge and experience the team brings. She shares, “Our project sites are usually complicated with co-mingled plumes, emerging contaminants, difficult geology for delivery, etc., so it can be a challenge to design a remedy that fits each site. There are no technologies or techniques that work for every site, so each one is unique and treated as such. While it’s demanding, it’s what engages me to work each day – solving puzzles and figuring out what works for the site, the client, and the regulators.” Over the years, Bishop has refined her site strategy to help determine an ideal focus for the best outcome. She continues, “I start each new site discussion with a simple but important question – what is the goal of the remedy? This allows the client and the project team to focus on what the end goal is and allows the remedy to be tailored to that goal, whether it means meeting groundwater drinking standards or reducing source area concentrations to allow for natural attenuation to take over.” Throughout her career, Bishop has been encouraged by the increasing number of women in her field, which she notes has risen steadily. She shares, “When I started in 2007, I was the only technical woman in the company I was working for, and when I joined my next company, I was still the only woman until I left in 2014 to join Haley &Aldrich. However, now, I have project teams that are all women. The shift in diversity has been noticeable to me, and it’s great to see.”
Married and living “on the side of a mountain in Pennsylvania, Bishop enjoys spending time with her animals, which include several sheep, chickens, a turtle, and a dog. She continues, “We have 10 acres, and with our animals, it allows me some much needed relaxation. I’m pretty boring right now with school and work, so I don’t have much downtime. I enjoy hanging out with the sheep and taking them for walks on our property (though not during hunting season). We take them for walks on the mountain, and since they are very tame, they stay with us and walk through the woods, grazing and racing as they go. Like all animals, they are always happy to see you, nudging you for snacks or a good back scratch. We joke that we have our very own petting zoo for the kids that come over!” And how would she encourage others to join her field of study? She concludes, “I would suggest finding a mentor. A good mentor is so helpful in moving forward with your career. It doesn’t have to be someone on the exact trajectory of what you’re looking for with your career. Some of my best mentors have helped me grow in ways that I didn’t expect, becoming a better writer, a better communicator, and showing me how to identify more effective ways of looking at a problem- whatever that problem is.”
REGENESIS is proud to have Elizabeth Bishop, Senior Technical Specialist at Haley & Aldrich, Inc., as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and they appreciate her expertise and dedication in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.