Workforce Development Panel

The Road Less Traveled Panel provides information to students and other attendees of Bays and Bayous about available career paths for young people hoping to have a career in science, with a special focus on non-traditional non-academic pathways of which students and other attendees may not be as aware and needs in workforce development so that students can enter the job market better equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities in-demand in the modern economy.

Mayor Emeritus of the City of Prichard, Alabama, Troy has more than 20 years of scientific and field experience in environmental regulations, consulting, and construction site management planning. He owns and manages Ephriam & Associates Environmental, a small business based in Whistler, Alabama that specializes in professional, scientific, technical, and ecological site assessments pursuant to provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act.

Kirk is a hydrologist and project manager in the Little Rock office of the Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center, He has worked with the National Water Quality Field Assessment as field lead for the Ozark Principal Aquifer Survey and with the Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership compiling a reservoir morphology database for the lower 48 states. Spanning a 12-year career with the UGSS, Kirk has worked with the Arkansas Natural Resource Commission and the Arkansas Geological Survey analyzing and interpreting potentiometric surfaces of major aquifers in the state and is currently the project manager for RESTORE, a $5.5 million dollar Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council funded "Baseline Flow, Gage Analysis & On-Line Tool to Support Restoration in Gulf States" project. Most recently, Kirk was awarded a $3.4 million dollar grant to continue work focusing on the Mobile and Perdido River Basins in Alabama. Kirk is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and is a member of the Dean's Advisory Council of the Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in addition to serving on the USGS Eastern Region Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council.

Chris Head is the Manager – Environmental Protection for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, and an Owner of Admiral Shellfish Co. in Ft Morgan, AL. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Science from the University of West Florida, an unmanned aircraft license, and a 50-ton Master Captain's license. At the Tribe, he performs NEPAs, oversees the 319, 106, and WPDG grants, assists with apiary, and special projects. Chris spends his weekends working at the oyster farm or captaining private vessels.

Calressia Clark is the Director of Field Operations and Logistics at Mobile Area Water & Sewer System and has been employed there for 16 years. During this time she has continuously worked to upgrade the water distribution and sewer collection systems infrastructure with in-house staffing, engineering consultants, and contractors. The highlight of her career has been working with people to improve the utility and enhance the community.

An innovator and change agent in education, workforce, and economic development, Dr. Josh Duplantis is a proven leader with experiences in k-12, 2- and 4-year colleges with a focus on department and divisional turnarounds. As a university faculty member, courses taught include personal finance, non-profit management, and an award-winning course in Servant Leadership. As Dean of Workforce and Economic Development, Dr. Duplantis leads a division that focuses on economic prosperity through job training. Coastal's Apprenticeship program is the largest and most diverse in the state and the winner of the Alabama Governor's Award for Best Practice in Work-Based Learning two years in a row most recently for its Registered Nurse Apprenticeship now being emulated around the state and country. Outside of work, Josh likes to hang out with his family, loves the outdoors, and gets way too emotional coaching his son's 3rd-grade basketball team.

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