May is American Wetlands Month, and WithersRavenel is celebrating! Each week, we’re profiling one of our environmental professionals whose work includes wetlands. Today, meet the leader of our team of wetlands scientists, Director of Natural Resources Troy Beasley. A longtime WithersRavenel employee based in our Wilmington office, Troy has worked at wetlands sites along the coast and across the state.
WithersRavenel: What sparked your interest in environmental science?
Troy Beasley: I spent most of my childhood in the woods, wetlands and streams behind our house playing with frogs, lizards, snakes and all kinds of animals. I was always drawn to science in school because it interested me and came easy to me. But while in college I had a Co-Op with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Regulatory Division which exposed me to the world of environmental/wetland regulations, and I immediately knew that I wanted to work that field. After working for the USACE for two years, I took a job with an environmental consulting firm, and realized that private consulting was my calling.
WR: What is the strangest wildlife encounter you’ve had to date?
TB: I have a lot of interesting and exciting wildlife encounters with all types of wildlife in my 20 years in the field, including getting charged by a mama alligator. But the strangest wildlife encounter I’ve ever had was while delineating wetlands near a nuclear facility, we walked up on a young female white-tailed deer and she ran off about 50 yards and stopped and stared at us. She followed us the rest of the day just watching us, staying no more than 20-30 yards from us at any time, and even followed us back to the truck. Perhaps living so close to the nuclear facility had something to do with this deer’s behavior, but it was definitely strange.
WR: What is the most beautiful outdoors spot you’ve ever encountered on the job for WithersRavenel?
TB: I am based out of our Wilmington Office, so I have lots of fieldwork around coastal marshes that have beautiful views. But the most beautiful outdoors spot I’ve encountered on the job for WR was during a delineation in Brunswick County in early spring in 2012. There was this old-growth cypress swamp with these huge, towering bald cypress trees with Spanish moss and bromeliads all over them. The water was about 6 inches deep with huge ferns growing out of it. It felt like I was in a prehistoric forest, and it was so peaceful it almost seemed magical. Seeing this type of natural beauty in areas most people will never go is really something special and a privilege, and these types of places stick out in your mind forever.
WithersRavenel provides wetlands services to a variety of public and private clients across the state. See all of our wetlands services or contact Troy Beasley for assistance.
This post was originally published on May 26, 2021, and was updated on May 31, 2022.