Meet Environmental Permitting Specialist Rick Trone
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 Environmental Permitting Specialist Rick Trone. He joined WithersRavenel earlier this year after more than six years working with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources. Rick has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Master of Science in Biology/Ecology, both from East Carolina University.
WithersRavenel: What sparked your interest in environmental science?
Rick Trone: My interest in environmental science goes back as far as I can remember. I spent a large amount of my childhood exploring streams, wetlands, and other similar areas. As I child I was called Bug Man by my aunt. At every opportunity I was outside exploring the outdoors. This interest in nature has never waned, and today I spend much of my free time birdwatching, herping (searching for amphibians or reptiles), botanizing, and within creeks and rivers hunting for fossils. These activities provide me ample opportunity to observe all kinds of wonderful plants and animals.
WR: How does your previous experience working with NCDEQ help you in your day-to-day job at WithersRavenel?
RT: My most-recent position with NCDEQ had me spending my days reviewing permit applications, the same applications I am putting together here at WithersRavenel. Having been on the other side of the fence, I feel I have an advantage in anticipating what a regulator may want to see in an application. I held other positions at NCDEQ that saw me responding to violations of environmental rules, delineating riparian buffers, streams, and wetlands, all of which is useful experience today.
WR: Tell us about how lessons you learned in the U.S. Army apply when you’re working today.
RT: The job I held in the military had essentially nothing in common with my current career. However, there are many lessons learned from serving that can be applied to day-to-day life. For example, serving in the Army taught me about leadership, what makes a good leader, and how a leader should act. Other important lessons learned during my time in the military involve discipline, decision-making skills, resourcefulness, and adaptability, all of which are useful.
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