Meet Chris Bellusci and Blair Deaver

Chris Bellusci and Blair Deaver recently joined Aspect's Bend, Oregon office.  Here are five questions we asked to get to know them better.

Chris Bellusci, Associate Business Systems Architect

Chris hiking near the Maroon Bells -- two peaks in the Elk Mountains in Colorado.

Chris hiking near the Maroon Bells -- two peaks in the Elk Mountains in Colorado.

1.    Where are you from? If you’re not from the Pacific Northwest, what brought you here? 

I was born and raised in Missoula, Montana on a small ranch, where I developed my love for the outdoors and our natural resources. From Missoula, I moved to Seattle where I spent 10 years going to school, working, and exploring all the great outdoor activity it had to offer. But I felt I needed to get back to something a bit smaller in city size (and more sunshine) so I moved to Bend, Oregon, a place I really call home and have loved it ever since. 

2.    What inspired you to pursue data infrastructure? What made you curious about it?

My degree is in Electrical Engineering, but my first job right out of school was for Boeing Aerospace where I supported the hardware and software that developed the first design-by-wire aircraft, the 777. I saw the power of how technology can revolutionize an industry or a way of doing business. This set my path into the world of software. 

3.    What do you like best about your area of expertise? What excites you and keeps you motivated?

My focus is helping industries solve their complex business problems by applying technology solutions. My real belief is business process should drive the technology approach, which is why I enjoy learning so much about our client’s business and helping them to find the best solution to meet their business needs. I believe that applying technology to better manage our natural resources is the next great frontier.

4.    What do you like to do when you aren’t working? 

Being outside!!! I love Bend because of the four seasons it has to offer and I love being outside in each one of them, whether if it’s 90 degrees in July or 10 degrees in January. Hiking, biking, camping, skiing--I enjoy all of it!  

5.    Where in the world would you like to travel next? 

It has been over 15 years since I have visited Europe and I would like to get back there again this time with our two children. I would like them to see and experience other cultures, plus I have an older brother that lives in London, UK, so a good excuse to go.

Blair Deaver, Senior Geospatial Data Scientist

Blair riding the Jem biking trail in Utah.

Blair riding the Jem biking trail in Utah.

1.    Where are you from? If you’re not from the Pacific Northwest, what brought you here? 

I grew up in Washington, D.C. I fled west for college in search of real mountain ranges I could explore on my mountain bike.

2.    What inspired you to pursue GIS and IT? What made you curious about it?

When I was going to school at the University of Oregon I worked part-time for the US Forest Service as a Hydro-technician in Oakridge, OR. I was a seasonal employee with aspirations for a full-time field job.  I quickly determined that a full-time job would be difficult. A peer at the time mentioned to me that if he were me, he would learn everything there is to know about this thing called “GIS”.  I quickly transitioned much of my school focus to Geography and GIS.  I was fascinated by GIS and quickly learned all I could.  When I graduated college, I was fortunate to get a job at Esri in Redlands, CA. I went from working in the woods for 10 hours a day to helping Esri customers solve technical problems behind a desk. The transition was a bit rough at first, but I have loved every minute of it. 

3.    What do you like best about your area of expertise? What excites you and keeps you motivated? 

I love the pairing of earth science + technology to solve real problems. I enjoy working with others to focus on the mastery of understanding a problem rather than quickly jumping to an engineering solution. I have worked over 20 years in the geospatial and IT industry. I have seen lots of change in the industry. What motivates me daily is to always keep learning. Being able to design and deliver technology solutions for earth science customers requires technical agility, creativity, and a solid understanding of the problem you are trying to solve.

4.    What do you like to do when you aren’t working? 

I love being a father and husband. You may also find me riding and racing my bicycle on trails throughout the PNW. I also love trail running and winter sport activities.

5.    Where in the world would you like to travel next? 

I would love to travel to Africa. All parts of Africa. I better save up my vacation.
 

Aspect’s Growing Data Science and Mapping Services

Science and engineering insights fueled, managed, and clearly communicated through technology. 

This sums up Aspect's successful client-focused approach since our inception in 2001. This year, we’ve enhanced the technology piece of this formula by adding three new staff, with over 10 years working together, focused on software development, technology integration, and geospatial data science. Chris Bellusci, Associate Business Systems Architect, and Blair Deaver, Senior Geospatial Data Scientist join Aspect’s recently opened Bend, Oregon office; and Mike Mills, Senior Project Software Developer, joins Aspect’s growing Portland, Oregon office.

These three will enhance Aspect’s already robust Data + Mapping services—helping our clients and project teams with solutions like map-integrated stormwater monitoring dashboards; environmental data management system design and integration; technology needs assessment and road-mapping; web map and GIS application development; integrated systems for mobile field data collection; and the development of machine learning-based approaches to basin-scale hydrology issues.

Data + Mapping Practice Lead and Aspect’s Director of Professional Services Parker Wittman explains the benefits to clients, “Chris, Blair, and Mike boost our core skills and add industry-leading, sought-after services like web development and cloud-based data management expertise,” Wittman said. “Reflecting the world at large, our clients will continue to seek out solutions that are interactive and mobile-platform friendly, that translate large amounts of data into scientific and business insights. These clients require teams that are analytical high-performers, who speak in the languages of business, regulation, earth science, and technology.”

Chris Bellusci

Chris Bellusci

Chris Bellusci recognizes Aspect as an emerging leader in the data science and mapping world. “Joining Aspect was a clear choice for us. They’ve always partnered their earth engineering and science experts with creative technologists focused on client satisfaction. The three of us (Bellusci, Deaver, and Mills) see a lot of potential to help Aspect’s growing client base,” Bellusci said. “The cloud and web tools we leverage can shrink project times and costs—for example turning a typically three-week monitoring report process into three days. Mountains of data that were tracked by hand previously can now be managed in the cloud and presented to decision makers in minutes instead of weeks.”

Chris has been working in the world of IT/software development, support, and product management for more than 20 years, with an educational background in Electrical Engineering. For the past 12 of those years, Chris has been helping clients plan for and build technology-driven solutions related to earth science problems. He is a seasoned project and client manager with a penchant for new business development. 

Blair Deaver

Blair Deaver

Blair Deaver’s educational background is in Environmental Studies and GIS. His geospatial expertise is both broad (everything from open source GIS, scripting, mobile development, dev ops, data management, enterprise IT) and deep—he is a recognized Esri GIS expert and is Amazon Web Services certified. Blair is known for an incredibly nimble style of problem-solving, a trait that meshes well with Aspect’s overall approach to client services. 

Mike Mills

Mike Mills

Mike Mills’s core expertise/background is in web and database development—he’s done everything from statistical analysis (writing custom kriging algorithms for in-browser spatial analyses) to mobile application development.  He’s a full-stack developer with a decade of experience delivering solutions for earth science and engineering projects. Mike’s educational background is in Mathematics and Computer Science.

Chris, Blair, and Mike all joined Aspect from GeoEngineers, where they had previously worked as a team for the better part of 10 years. Together—with Associate Water Resources Engineer, John Warinner—Chris and Blair make up Aspect’s new Bend, Oregon office. With Mike joining Aspect’s growing Portland office as well, Aspect is continuing its earnest expansion into the Oregon earth + water market. The experts who are part of Aspect emerging Oregon presence service all the firm’s core practice areas—and are collectively a reflection of Aspect’s multidisciplinary approach.

 

Announcing John Warinner and Expanded Services for Oregon Clients

Strengthening Aspect's water resources services for Oregon clients, John Warinner, PE, CWRE joins Aspect as Associate Water Resources Engineer in Bend, Oregon.  John is a water resources engineer and certified water rights examiner with over 30 years of experience in water supply, water rights, and geographic information system (GIS) projects for irrigators, public agencies, and private industry.

John Warinner - Headshot 2.jpg

John has applied his engineering and client-service skills to monitoring, assessing, design, and permitting for a variety of water system projects, including watershed; groundwater aquifers; irrigation systems; wastewater and nutrient recovery systems; and water rights. He also brings keen insight into GIS and data management.

“I’m excited to join the Aspect team and to broaden their services to Oregon clients," says John, "Aspect is an excellent earth science engineering firm that values the same innovative and practical approach to solving water resource problems that I do.” 

John will work out of Bend, supporting Aspect’s Portland office and clients as well as expanding Aspect’s capabilities for clients in central and eastern Oregon. 

As he joins Aspect, we asked John to share some thoughts on his work and consulting career:

1.    Where are you from? 
My father was an Air Force fighter pilot, so my family moved around a lot when I was young.  I was born in Charleston, SC, and we moved to Oscoda, MI when I was 10 days old.  After several more stops in California and Florida, our family first moved to the Pacific Northwest in about 1968.  We lived in Medford, OR while my father was serving in Vietnam.  When my father returned from overseas, we moved to Klamath Falls, OR.  We moved a few more times to North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Texas, before ultimately settling back in Klamath Falls for my high school and college years.  After attending college in Oregon and Texas, I returned to Portland, OR for several years, then moved to Walla Walla, WA for over two decades.  In 2013, my wife, Amy, and I moved our family to Bend, OR.  So we are approaching five years now in Bend. 

2.    What inspired/led you to pursue work in water resources? 
My interest in water resources started during high school, living on an irrigated hay-grain farm in the Klamath Basin.  My jobs on the farm included irrigation and hay harvest.  I was initially intrigued by the idea of equipping hay balers to moisten hay as it was baled, rather than having to bale the hay during the middle of the night when the dew was on it.  I also recall rafting with a friend on the Lost River and being surprised and intrigued by the geothermal springs emerging into the stream.  During my study of agricultural engineering at Oregon State University and civil (water resources) engineering at Texas A&M University, I gained a broader perspective of hydrology, hydrogeology, hydraulics, irrigation, drainage, and the more physical aspects of water systems.  During that time, my uncle, who was a physics professor at the University of Michigan, introduced me to the Environmental Defense Fund and increased my awareness of watershed ecology, water quality, water rights and allocation, and the challenges of understanding and managing water systems in various settings and at various scales.

3.    What do you like best about your area of expertise? What excites you and keeps you motivated? 
The deeper you wade into it, the more you realize that water resources is a very broad and dynamic field.  In some respects, the fundamentals seem simple and straightforward.  But there are many nuances to it.  Water systems and the associated challenges vary greatly with both place and time.  There are differences in spatial and temporal patterns from one place to another.  As they say, you never step twice into the same stream.  When you consider the human elements--population, values, interests, knowledge and awareness, expectations, laws, and policies…which also continually evolve and change--it all combines into very intriguing dynamics and associated challenges.  Each situation has its own unique fact pattern.  

4.    What do you like to do when you aren’t working? 
I most enjoy getting outdoors, including hiking, mountain climbing, fishing, boating, and mountain biking.  I am a pretty big sports fan; mostly basketball. Our youngest son, Brian, is currently a Junior in High School playing on the basketball team. We enjoy watching Brian and his teammates, as well as college and professional basketball.  I also enjoy writing poetry and making music.  As our kids grow up and move out of the house, I am interested to spend more time doing that.

5.    Where in the world would you like to travel next? 
I am pretty happy exploring the Pacific Northwest with the wilderness areas in the Cascades, the Oregon Coast, the San Juan Islands.  Most of my travel outside of the Northwest is geared toward visiting my parents and other family members in Ohio and Texas.  I would love to go back to Bowron Lakes up in British Columbia.  Perhaps South America and Machu Picchu.  Some day, I would love to spend some extended time visiting Europe.