May 2021 – Meet Thomas Mergy, Principal Hydrogeologist at PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc. in Seattle, WA.
What is your educational background? I received my BS-Hydrogeology from University of Wisconsin, while studying under Dr. Charles Fetter as my mentor, author of Applied Hydrogeology.
What drew you to working in the environmental sector? After interning with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) my professional career began in 1989 with a startup engineering firm and I have since enjoyed working in the environmental consulting industry.
In one word, describe yourself. Perseverance.
What’s one interesting thing about you not many people know? I was a Colorado ski bum during my formative years.
How do you balance your career and family? Balance means weighing the focus of my time needed to engage with my family and find opportunity to enrich my career. I thrive on the work hard and enjoy play approach, meaning I find joy in giving love to my family, and satisfaction in my career accomplishments.
What drew you to PBS Engineering and Environmental? PBS offered an opportunity for growth and connection to the Pacific Northwest with a driven employee-owned company. There was an energy in the company leadership that showed confidence and enthusiasm for the future.
What are three words to describe PBS Engineering and Environmental? Diverse. Exceptional. Professionals.
What is the favorite part about working for your company? Since joining PBS-Seattle in 2011, I have built a solid team of professionals to mentor client focused aptitude and can-do approach to helping clients achieve their goals.
What has been your favorite project at your company? The Elwha and Glines Dam Restoration project near Port Angeles, WA. The project succeeded in incorporating so many facets of environmental restoration that restored natural conditions for a robust salmon habitat.
How has your company helped you in your career development? PBS has a great leadership and support team that is focused on leadership mentoring and transition to keep the company a strong and growing enterprise. Our mission statement captures that energy; “We will be an inclusive, integrated, nimble, multi-disciplinary project delivery organization of professional services for the built and natural environments in the markets we engage, providing growth and value for everyone and the enterprise.”
What has your involvement been with NEBC? NEBC has been a part of my career growth since I first joined as a member in 1996. Over the past few years, I have worked with NEBC on numerous conference planning teams, especially the Northwest Remediation Conference.
What is the best professional advice you’ve received? When you help your team succeed, then you succeed.
What advice do you have for prospective candidates who want to work at your company or in the industry? Be willing to be collaborative with your ideas and contribute to the team with meaningful efforts. Even if you are the newest team member find ways to help the winning team.
What is on your wish list for the next 5 years for your industry? Our industry can be a leader in our challenging society by encouraging diversity, equity, and inclusion to broaden personal and professional growth; cultivate conscientious, capable leaders; amplify essential, underrepresented voices; and foster an open, accepting environment for our people, partners, and clients.
As a part of the industry, what sort of trends do you see? The environmental challenges of our world have not diminished since I first read Silent Spring in high school. I am encouraged there will be new innovations and solutions to address protecting groundwater quality and drinking water resources, minimize the pollutants entering our surface water systems, and finding more responsible energy solutions to power our world.