By: Jeffery Robichaud
Well Casey told you about himself, so I suppose I need to share a bit about myself since I will be the other co-blogger (although the way I tend to write my blog entries you’ll find out a lot about me along the way). Currently I serve as Deputy Director of the Environmental Services Division, here in EPA Region 7. All of the Regions are set up slightly different but you can find our orgchart here. We are located in Kansas City, smack dab in the middle of the country (or at least pretty close to it).
I still find it odd that I ended up working in the same field as my father, who spent his career with EPA after leaving the Air Force. Unconsciously I must have picked up both an interest in science and in public service. Originally this was channeled towards thoughts of becoming an Astronaut (I’m an unrepentant Star Wars fanatic), but my chronic asthma scrubbed any ideas of becoming a fighter jockey. I left the West Coast for the East Coast and attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA for my undergraduate degree in Environmental Systems Engineering. During my senior year I performed a volunteer internship with EPA’s Region 3 office. I started my career as a consultant working for a Fortune 500 company here in Kansas City and later in DC, before joining EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water in 1998. Meeting my KC-native wife in DC, eventually brought us back to the Midwest with the birth of the first of our two sons.
Along the way I picked up a Masters in Engineering Management from KU, and have worked in most of the Agency’s media programs. Even though I live in KC, I am still a diehard Seahawks fan who is still smarting over Superbowl XL. I also still haven’t come to grips with the fact that the Supersonics are no more. As indicated, I have a pair of boys, so my wife and I really don’t have any spare time, but if I did I would probably spend it reading history and science books, playing with the dog, and traveling.
My interest in Geography is tied to history and travel. I love history and remember hoarding National Geographic maps about ancient civilizations in a shoe box in my closet. Also since my father was in the Air Force when I was young we moved around a bit, and I took great pride in having been born in NH, but living in MS, TX, NJ, MI, and IL, and always being the kid in class who had visited the most States thanks in no small part to vacations in the Family Truckster. If I can find a way up to AK and ND in the future, I’ll have them all covered.
Unlike Casey I come to the world of Geo as a self-taught dabbler, but I still love the ability for geography to be a unifying theme and its use as a compelling way to visualize challenges, organize thoughts, and tell stories. Over the coming months, I hope to share my thoughts and stories about environmental issues here in Region 7.