Dave Cook Discusses Consent Decrees, Cleanup and Ecology’s Healthy Housing Program for Contaminated Sites at the WA Brownfields Conference on May 30, 2019

On May 30, Aspect’s Dave Cook will co-present on affordable housing development from the environmental consulting perspective at the Washington State Brownfields Conference in Spokane.

Brownfield properties represent opportunity. Dave will talk about innovative ways to turn blighted property into affordable/work force housing. Aspect’s first-of-its-kind work on the Mt Baker Housing Association’s Gateway project in the Mt Baker/Rainier Valley neighborhood in Seattle has become an example of what is possible. Mt Baker Housing Association (MBHA), as a non-profit, took on a significantly contaminated site to redevelop as affordable housing where the cost of the cleanup is more than the value of the five properties combined. Dave will join Scott O’Dowd of Ecology, Conor Hansen of MBHA and Mike Dunning of Perkins Coie to describe how these properties were purchased, investigated, liability managed, and the cleanup financed—all keys that made this pioneering project successful and sparking the State’s new Healthy Housing program .

Contact Dave (206.838.5837 and dcook@aspectconsulting.com), or learn more about prospective purchaser consent decrees, funding, and redeveloping contaminated land for affordable housing at https://www.aspectconsulting.com/affordablehousing

Engineers Without Borders USA Spotlights Seattle Volunteer Eset Alemu


In honor of National Volunteer Month, Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) put the spotlight on engineers who give their time and talents to improve infrastructure in communities around the world. Their blog post features an interview with Eset Alemu, a Seattle-based engineer who is co-leading the Puget Sound Professionals of EWB-USA for several projects in Nicaragua. She also is the current president of the ASCE Seattle Section and is helping with transition for the President-Elect, Aspect’s Principal Geotechnical Engineer Henry Haselton, who will step into the role in September.

Read EWB-USA’s full post here.

Aspect’s Principal Geologist Dave Cook, who has volunteered with Engineers Without Borders USA since its inception, says, "EWB-USA is engineering with soul. I, like many, still believe in founder Bernard Amadei's ethos and why this organization was originally founded. Engineers, scientists and other professionals should all be able to work in harmony to deliver technical skills that are so hard to come by in the developing world."

In addition to Dave’s contributions to EWB-USA, Aspect has supported EWB-USA financially over the past several years.  Aspect supports all volunteers, particularly those whose mission is capacity building around Earth + Water problems.  https://www.ewb-usa.org/donate/

Innovative Affordable Housing Solutions Continue in South Seattle

The Seattle City Council recently approved the 2nd Redevelopment Opportunity Zone (ROZ) in Seattle’s history for the 700-unit Grand Street Commons housing development near the future Judkins Park light-rail station. The ROZ designation means that this innovative $20 Million private/non-profit partnership (Lake Union Partners and Mt. Baker Housing, respectively) now has direct access to state funds to build a 700-unit development—with about half of those units earmarked for affordable housing. These 350 future units, together with the 160 units planned at The Maddux (the City’s first ROZ zone near the Mt. Baker light-rail station), brings 500+ ROZ-designated affordable housing units coming online in the next five years in South Seattle.

The 700-unit Grand Street Commons is a unique private/public partnership, where approximately half the units will be affordable housing. The cleanup for this brownfield site is being led by Aspect and funded by a new approach to access money specifically for affordable housing projects.

Aspect, with law firm Perkins Coie, has helped Mt. Baker Housing pioneer this ROZ model to unlock state-backed grant funding in a first-of-its-kind model. Recognizing this success, the state introduced the Healthy Housing Program this fall– earmarked specifically for affordable housing developers looking at restoring land at brownfield sites.

Learn more about new approaches to restore land and find solutions for our affordable housing crisis here: www.aspectconsulting.com/affordablehousing.

Washington State Helps Turn Brownfields into Affordable Housing

See Washington State Department of Ecology’s new article covering the state’s new Healthy Housing Remediation Program for restoring contaminated land to promote affordable housing. Mt. Baker Housing’s 160-unit project in South Seattle — which Aspect is leading the cleanup for — was the inspiration for this program.

Read more here.

Learn more here: https://www.aspectconsulting.com/affordablehousing

Dave Cook to Discuss Reclaiming Brownfields for Affordable Housing at Housing Development Consortium Event

On September 18, join Aspect’s Dave Cook and Perkins Coie’s Mike Dunning as they share their experience developing innovative ways to reclaim brownfields for affordable housing. Dave and Mike will be joined by representatives from project partner agencies Mt. Baker Housing Association and the Washington State Department of Ecology in discussing Mt Baker Housing’s The Maddux – a two-building development with 144 apartments affordable to people earning up to 60 percent of the area median income. This project was made possible by implementing innovative cleanup solutions and identifying creative funding mechanisms. Learn More Here.

Washington's Healthy Housing Program Helps Fund Cleanup for Affordable Housing

Today, the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce (DJC) published a great overview of the new Washington State Healthy Housing Program and the inspiration for the program - Mt. Baker Housing's $55 million Maddux project. Check it out.

Does your firm want help turning brownfields into affordable units?

Ecology wants to offer grants to get brownfields cleaned up and reused, and is seeking applications from developers until Saturday.

Journal Construction Editor

There are thousands of blighted properties across the state that could be redeveloped to create more affordable housing, but contamination on these sites has mostly kept developers at bay.

Now the state and its consultants are testing a way to get more of these sites developed. The Healthy Housing Remediation Program provides grants to help affordable housing developers build on brownfields.

The departments of Ecology and Commerce created the program. To gauge interest, they are seeking applications from developers until Saturday. The list of firms that respond will be used to develop Ecology's 2019–21 cleanup budget plan and to demonstrate funding needs for the Legislature to consider during the 2019 session.

Dave Cook of Aspect Consulting, one of the consulting firms, said affordable housing developers face high property costs, water rights issues and Growth Management Act restraints. He said this program will help fund remedial investigation studies and site cleanup to make blighted properties more attractive to developers.

The program was inspired by Mt. Baker Housing's $55 million Maddux project, which is slated for a site on South McClellan Street, east of Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and near the Mount Baker light rail station.

Maddux will have two buildings with 144 apartments that are affordable to people earning up to 60 percent of the area median income. Nearly half of the units will be “family-size,” with two- and three-bedroom layouts.

Mt. Baker Housing will use $6.2 million in state funds to clean up contamination from a gas station and dry cleaner. The nonprofit signed an agreement last year with Ecology that lays out the cleanup plan, and Ecology provided $400,000 for initial studies.

“We've been in the Mount Baker neighborhood a long time and these five properties always intrigued us — but we knew conventional options to develop the site were limited,” said Conor Hansen, director of real estate at Mt. Baker Housing, in a news release. “Once we learned about the opportunity to work with the Department of Ecology and play a part in creating a new innovative model, we believed this site would be the perfect candidate to clean up, develop and activate a prominent intersection that will serve as a catalyst for the neighborhood and provide much-needed affordable housing near light rail.”

In early 2017, the city designated the five properties as a Redevelopment Opportunity Zone, which allows state funds to flow directly to Mt. Baker Housing for remediation.

The parcels total about a half-acre.

Mt. Baker Housing aims to select a general contractor shortly, and break ground in late 2019 and open in early 2021. Other team members are architect Mithun, development consultant Beacon Development Group and acquisition lender Impact Capital.

Cook said it will be two months before all the data is available about the site contamination, but it's “very contaminated.”

Aspect and law firm Perkins Coie led the environmental team for Mt. Baker Housing, and worked with Ecology on the pilot program.

Cook said Aspect and Perkins Coie can help interested developers with the pilot program's application process.


Washington State’s First Affordable Housing Fund for Contaminated Sites: Applications Due June 30th

The Washington State Departments of Ecology and Commerce have created an innovative new program that will provide grants to affordable housing developers seeking to redevelop contaminated properties and increase the state’s housing stock.

The Healthy Housing Remediation Program will provide grant funds to nonprofit and private housing organizations to evaluate, investigate, and clean up contaminated properties to support the development of affordable housing. It was created by the Washington State Legislature during the 2018 session and will be funded in the 2019 session.

The program builds upon the successful partnership between Ecology and the Mt. Baker Housing Association on the Gateway Project in Seattle. Mt. Baker Housing’s Gateway Project will redevelop several contaminated properties for affordable housing near transit hubs in Seattle’s Rainier Valley. Aspect and law firm Perkins Coie — with lead counsel Mike Dunning — serve as Mt. Baker Housing’s environmental team on the Gateway Project. Perkins Coie and Aspect have worked directly with Ecology and Mt. Baker Housing to build this unique concept.

Ecology and Commerce started soliciting applications for the program on June 1 and the application period closes June 30. Perkins Coie and Aspect can help interested organizations complete and send in their applications. This needs to happen as soon as possible to meet the June 30 deadline.

If you have any questions about the Healthy Housing Remediation Program or about redeveloping contaminated properties for housing, please contact Dave Cook at 206.838.5837 and at dcook@aspectconsulting.com or Mike Dunning at 206.359.3464 and at mdunning@perkinscoie.com.

Before and after conceptual image of Mt. Baker Gateway Project  in South Seattle – one of the affordable housing cleanup sites that the Healthy Housing program is inspired from.

Setting the Stage for Alaska Airlines’ 128,000-Square-Foot Groundbreaking

Alaska Airlines recently deepened its local roots with a groundbreaking for a new 128,000-square-foot corporate facility in SeaTac.

Aspect is helping set the stage for this by providing environmental and geotechnical services to prep the property for development.  Our team evaluated property-wide environmental conditions and is serving as the geotechnical engineer of record, which includes designing foundations and shoring walls.  Aspect pilot tested and designed a deep stormwater infiltration system to sustainably manage stormwater and get it back into the ground in a more native/natural way. This helped achieve the sustainability goals of the project. We will be on hand to perform construction observation as that kicks off. 

The “Hub” will be a 6-story office building scheduled for construction and then move-in for first quarter 2020.

The “Hub” will be a 6-story office building scheduled for construction and then move-in for first quarter 2020.

The May 3rd groundbreaking ceremony was attended by various city, county and state dignitaries, including governor Jay Inslee, Congressman Adam Smith, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden, as well as Alaska employees and members from the surrounding community.

The May 3rd groundbreaking ceremony was attended by various city, county and state dignitaries, including governor Jay Inslee, Congressman Adam Smith, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden, as well as Alaska employees and members from the surrounding community.

Dave Cook Presents on Affordable Housing to Upper Kittitas County

On April 25, Aspect’s Dave Cook will be giving a lunch presentation on affordable housing development from the environmental consulting perspective to the Rotary Club of Upper Kittitas County at Suncadia Lodge.

Dave’s presentation will discuss how blighted, contaminated property doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker for redevelopment.  In fact, some brownfields property is actually being sought as a way to turn blighted property into affordable/work force housing.  Aspect’s first-of-its-kind work on the Mt Baker Housing Association’s Gateway project in the Mt Baker/Rainier Valley neighborhood in Seattle has become an example of what is possible.  Mt Baker Housing non-profit took on a significantly contaminated site to redevelop as affordable housing where the cost of the cleanup is more than the value of the five properties combined. 

How are we doing this?  Through environmental risk management via a Prospective Purchaser Consent Decree, cleanup evaluation through site characterization and Rough Order of Magnitude cost estimating, and unique funding via a Redevelopment Opportunity Zone (allowing funding from the State Dept of Ecology and Commerce), while also seeking other funds through a traditional path of accessing potentially liable parties (like big oil companies and old insurance policies).  This project is becoming recognized throughout Washington state and is a model for possible allocation of State cleanup funds to pilot this concept in other areas. 

Join International Development Discussion on February 20 During Engineers Week

On February 20 at Pyramid Alehouse in Seattle, join Aspect's Principal Geologist Dave Cook and other panelists for an Engineers Without Borders-hosted panel discussion on the role of engineering in international development. 

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If you are interested in international development and want to use your engineering skills to make a positive impact, please consider joining us. Our panel will consist of speakers from the following non-profit organizations that are devoted to using the tools of engineering, planning, and design in order to build a better world.

  • Engineers Without Borders USA (Represented by Dave Cook): In the world's toughest places, EWB-USA is partnering with communities at home and around the world to meet their basic human needs through sustainable engineering projects. A dynamic organization with over 16,000 members nationwide, Dave Cook has served as the President and on the Board of Directors for EWB-USA in year's past.  
  • Construction for Change (Represented by Kevin Hunter): Construction for Change (CFC) builds spaces where people struggling with oppression can become healthier, learn, and increase their economic mobility. They partner with organizations that provide life-changing resources but have outgrown their facilities or seek to expand the service they offer. Mr. Hunter has been Executive Director of CFC since November 2016, leading the organization to develop a sustainable and scalable model to expand the reach of the organization around the globe, and his previous experience includes leadership roles with Young Life, World Vision, and Habitat for Humanity. 
  • Kilowatts for Humanity (Represented by Kirk MacLearnsberry): Kilowatts for Humanity (KWH) was founded in 2014 as an organization centered around an electrical engineering project for a hybrid wind/solar/storage system in Muhuru Bay, Kenya. The organization has since expanded to several major international solar project initiatives, with the goal of providing access to sustainable electricity in energy impoverished areas. Kirk MacLearnsberry has been a member of the design team since 2015 and was involved as the engineering lead on last summer's implementation trip to construct a local solar/storage kiosk in Munyama, Zambia. 
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Meet new members, newtwork with fellow engineers and planners, and learn about EWB! More information about the February 20 event at Pyramid Ale at 6:30 pm.

Who are the scientists in your neighborhood?

Aspect outreach connects younger residents with cleanup and redevelopment work at Mt. Baker Housing Association

On a recent cloudy afternoon, about 15 kids gathered on a corner in Seattle’s Mount Baker neighborhood to peer down a hole. The hole isn’t just any hole, it’s a groundwater monitoring well—one of 35 that Aspect is using to measure groundwater contamination levels in the area. The kids, ranging from second grade through high school, are residents of six nearby apartment buildings managed by the Mt. Baker Housing Association (MBHA). This field trip was led by Aspect’s Principal Geologist Dave Cook and Senior Geologist Jessica Smith, who have been sharing their environmental work on an innovative MBHA redevelopment project with some of the neighborhood’s younger residents through an ongoing series of visits that helps kids understand the science that will help shape the future of their neighborhood.

Located two blocks from the Mount Baker light rail station, the cleanup site has sat unused for years due to solvent-contamination from a dry cleaner and gasoline-contamination from a former gas station. Aspect is supporting a first-of-its-kind partnership between the MBHA, the City of Seattle, and the Washington State Department of Ecology that will use state funds to help cover some of the costs for environmental evaluation and cleanup. With significant help from an Ecology Public Partnership Grant, MBHA plans to redevelop the five parcels of land with two new residential buildings to meet the City’s critical need for more affordable housing.

Stepping out of the Typical Cleanup Process to Invite Community into the Project

Outreach and collaboration with the area’s residents, businesses, and other stakeholders is a key part of the project. Dave and Jessica’s work puts community, education, and science into action by speaking directly to a segment of the population not usually directly engaged in these types of projects. The kids get to meet the scientists and engineers working in their neighborhood and gets to find out what’s happening, and what’s going to happen, in their own backyard.

Dave and Jessica collaborated with MBHA’s Resident Services Coordinator Sameth Mell and intern Cristina Pinho to engage with the younger members of the Mount Baker community. “After 26 years of quietly cleaning up and recycling land for better uses, I thought it was time to break out of the standard consulting role and focus on the community in a more direct way,” Dave said. “I’ve always enjoyed educating people about what we do. The science is really cool, it’s practical, very visual, and I figured kids would be totally into geology and engineering. What kid doesn’t like playing with dirt, sampling water and learning about mysteries below ground?”

An Outdoor Classroom to See the Underground Up Close

On this recent visit, Dave and Jessica met the kids inside over pizza for introductions before heading out to the corner in front of the building, where Staff Geologist Na Hyung Choi was already busy gathering samples at one of the groundwater monitoring wells. She filled sample containers with groundwater located about 15 feet below the ground surface and answered questions while Jessica and Dave explained more about her work.

Jessica said, “For me, the best part of being involved in the community outreach is being able to introduce kids to the practical aspects of science and engineering to get them excited about STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math]. As we were watching Na Hyung obtain the groundwater samples, one of the fourth-grade girls asked me if she could be a Geologist or an Engineer when she grows up, to which I enthusiastically replied, ‘Of course!’ Facilitating that curiosity and excitement in these kids is what this is all about.”

Back inside, Dave and Jessica presented a video of how the well they’d just been looking at was created, showing how the hole was drilled and the soil that was unearthed from the drill. Jessica also gave a tangible explanation of just what groundwater is. Marbles in a glass represented the dirt, with a little water poured in to help them visualize how groundwater lives between the soil grains.  A bright green straw inserted into the glass stood in for the groundwater monitoring well that was installed into the soil to suck out the water.

Ongoing Outreach as Work Heads Toward 150 Units of New Housing

This visit was the second one Dave and Jessica have made since beginning their field work in mid-November. They plan to return often as the project continues, to share results from the samples Na Hyung was taking and what that data tells them about how the contaminants are behaving underground. From these data, Dave, Jessica and Ecology will develop the best plan to clean up the contaminated soil and groundwater so that construction can begin.

Cleanup and redevelopment on the MBHA project is slated to begin in 2019. Once complete, there will be an estimated 150 units of new affordable housing on the parcels. The kids Dave and Jessica have been checking in with will be able to tell their new neighbors, “Hey, I know what used to be underneath your building!” 

Aspect Paves the Way for a First-of-its-Kind Affordable Housing Project

Five pieces of land in southeast Seattle’s Mount Baker neighborhood have sat unused for years. Contamination from a former gas station and dry cleaner has plagued the area’s potential, especially since they sit just two blocks away from the Mount Baker light rail station. However, that’s all changing thanks to an innovative collaboration between the Mt. Baker Housing Association, the City of Seattle, and the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Click image for King 5's video on the Mt. Baker Gateway Project

Click image for King 5's video on the Mt. Baker Gateway Project

With the creation of a Redevelopment Opportunity Zone (ROZ), 150 units of affordable housing will soon go up in one of the City’s most racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods. This ROZ designation—the first-of-its-kind in the state—allows for state money to be used for the environmental cleanup. With this innovative model, these previously undevelopable parcels are on their way to becoming crucially needed affordable housing.

Aspect's Jessica Smith and Dave Cook at the site of the Mt. Baker Gateway project.

Aspect's Jessica Smith and Dave Cook at the site of the Mt. Baker Gateway project.

Aspect has been leading the environmental strategy with Mt. Baker Housing’s legal advisor, Seattle law firm, Perkins Coie. Like any complex urban brownfield project, progress requires a unique strategy, buy-in of stakeholders, and a demonstration of a win-win. The environmental cleanup consulting that Aspect is providing will set the stage for remedial cleanup of petroleum and solvent-contaminated soil and groundwater. The cleanup action will do more than benefit the parcels, it will improve environmental quality of this part of the neighborhood. Groundbreaking is estimated for 2019.

Look out for future project updates and milestones as we play our part in realizing the vision of this community and stakeholders for affordable, sustainable, and healthy housing in Seattle.

Dave Cook Helping Future Professionals Build Great Resumes on January 10

Aspect’s Principal Geologist Dave Cook will man the “Resume Review” station at the University of Washington’s College of Engineering Career Fair Prep Night on January 10. Dave will be giving out free advice to hopeful future professionals on what to do and, most importantly, what not to do when engineering an inviting resume for the working world. Learn more HERE.

Dave Cook Speaking on Environmental Ethics at Seattle University on November 7

Principal Geologist Dave Cook will be speaking about environmental ethics to an engineering class at Seattle University on November 7. Dave will cover how to understand an environmental professional’s role when project and land use decisions will ultimately affect others. He’ll cover scenarios that come up during environmental project work that don’t always have a blueprint for how to handle, such as:

  • Dealing with landslide risk – how to notify someone to leave their home?
  • If, how, and when to respond to public and media comments critical of ongoing project work.
  • What dictates when, how and why to report a contaminant release - it isn't always a clear cut case.

He’ll also cover current events including the South Dakota pipeline and Flint Michigan water crisis.

Get to Know Dave Cook

Aspect is excited to welcome Principal Geologist Dave Cook, a seasoned environmental leader with focused expertise in urban brownfields redevelopment, site acquisition, remedial cost estimation, cleanup, and environmental strategy. Here are five questions we asked to get to know him better. 

  1. Where are you from? If you’re not from the Pacific Northwest, what brought you here?   I grew up in Wooster, Ohio.  Wooster is a small 20,000-person town (near Akron) between the urban diversity of Cleveland and very rural Amish farming country.  Growing up I had the benefit of a tight, small-town community, playing soccer against eastern European clubs in Cleveland, or experiencing Amish horse and buggies rolling through our town.  I went to undergrad at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, received a degree in geology and played collegiate soccer.  I then went to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona where I received a M.S. in geology.  Growing up I had visited about 40 States.  The only states I hadn’t been too after grad school were the Pacific NW, so I had to come.  Obviously, I couldn’t (and can’t) leave.   
  2. What inspired you to pursue geology? What made you curious about it?  Three things:  My dad sold trucks to oil field services and drilling companies that happened to make Wooster a home base for Appalachian basin oil exploration/development.  We had a family friend who was a geology professor at the local college (The College of Wooster).  And my dad and I did a Grand Canyon raft trip after my freshman year in college.  That sealed the deal (it also got me to NAU for grad school where I ended up completing my masters research in the Canyon; studying the 800-milion-year-old Walcott Member of the Chuar Group – about 60 miles down-river from Lee’s Ferry).
  3.  What do you like best about your area of expertise? What excites you and keeps you motivated?  Meeting and solving client problems in innovative/creative ways.  Applying new solutions and technologies to old problems.  I believe that an earth scientist has much to offer the world.  We are unique, and although we’ve always been needed, today, with climate change and extreme “earth events” society needs us to be confident, direct, factual and simple in how we describe complex three dimensional systems.
  4. What do you like to do when you aren’t working?  Playing pickup soccer, following the Seattle Sounders, hiking, running, bike riding, traveling, volunteering with Engineers Without Borders-USA (www.ewb-usa.org).  EWB-USA is a 15,000-person volunteer organization composed on engineers, scientists, health professionals, and educators.  I’ve served in many roles in the organization from Seattle Professional Chapter President, to UW-EWB professional mentor for water projects in Bolivia, to Board of Directors, to 2016 national Board President.  It’s an honor to serve with my EWB-USA colleagues.  Come see me if you are interested in getting involved.
  5. What five people would be your dream dinner party guests?
  • Elon Musk – for his innovative, break the norm – won’t-take-no entrepreneurial attitude
  • John Wesley Powell – my geology hero.  Explorer/discoverer of the Colorado River system and the Grand Canyon (he did this research with one arm – a civil war musket ball took one of his arms).
  • Richard Branson – Another entrepreneur with vision, branding and marketing chops; plus he seems to have a good heart and soul.
  • Bonnie Dunbar – Space shuttle astronaut.  I got to meet and work with her when she was the Executive Director of the Museum of Flight.  Amazing scientist/engineer who grew up on a ranch in Eastern Washington.  She’s got the small town roots with a whole-earth perspective.
  • Barack Obama – I campaigned for him in Ohio in 2008.  He’s cool under pressure, smart, sophisticated, and takes a long view of success.

Dave Cook Speaks and Moderates at GBA, Urban Land Institute, and IEEE Humanitarian Events

Aspect’s principal geologist, Dave Cook, is participating in several urban energy and humanitarian events this week in Seattle.

On Wednesday October 12th in Seattle, Dave moderates a panel of local experts discussing sharing energy sources between facilities and throughout communities. The discussion is sponsored by the Urban Land Institute of which Dave is a member.  The panel discussion is titled, “District Energy, What’s stopping us from sharing in the sharing economy?” will seek to answer the questions, “What is keeping us from sharing and conserving energy, reducing carbon footprints, and revolutionizing how we pay to heat, cool, and power our downtown core and neighborhoods?” Learn more about the presentation HERE.

On Saturday October 15th in Seattle, Dave will be at the Geoprofessional Business Associations’ Fall Conference in Seattle. As the 2016 Board President of the 15,000-person volunteer organization Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA), he will discuss how EWB-USA responded to recovery efforts after the 2015 Nepal earthquakes, and how geoprofessionals can contribute their skills at EWB-USA. Learn more HERE.

Later on that Saturday, Dave will be the Keynote Speaker at IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference in Seattle again discussing the importance of EWB-USA’s work and how professionals can engage in the humanitarian world. Learn more HERE.

Prominent Environmental Leader Dave Cook Joins Aspect Consulting in Seattle

Principal Geologist Dave Cook, LG, CPG joins Aspect’s Seattle Office, providing clients an established, innovative, and creative earth science advisor. Dave’s 25-year track record of applying new solutions and technologies to old problems is highly regarded by business clients, the community, and fellow environmental firms and regulators.

Principal Geologist Dave Cook joins Aspect Consulting, LLC in Seattle, adding strength and depth of experience to Aspect’s urban development capabilities. As a leader in the Puget Sound community, Dave’s 25-year career has included high-profile and complex projects for the region’s most prominent businesses. He thrives in unique situations where there are multiple stakeholders and when clearly communicating complex technical issues to business leaders, legal experts, regulators, and the public is critical to successful outcomes. He is sought after for his combination of technical acumen and innovative application of financing and risk management tactics to help business owners and communities develop cost effective solutions that put distressed sites back to productive use.

“Working with Dave as a regional colleague has always been a pleasure, and I’m excited to have him join forces with us at Aspect. Collaboration and strategic thinking come naturally to Dave as he integrates environmental, geotechnical, and construction know-how with great skill. Daily interaction with a professional of his caliber makes us all stronger,” says Doug Hillman, Aspect’s Environmental Practice Lead.

Deep down, Dave’s heart and soul is founded in bettering the communities for which he and his clients embed themselves. In addition to being at forefront of his earth science and environmental practice, he’s been a leader with Engineers Without Borders-USA (www.ewb-usa.org) for over 10 years. As the 2016 Board President of this 15,000-person volunteer organization, Dave helps lead the organization and facilitate partnerships with industry partners. He’s also traveled to Bolivia and Peru to support water supply projects and been a mentor to the University of Washington EWB chapter. Recently, he coordinated EWB-USA’s response to a unique geohazard assessment after the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

“I’m excited to join the Aspect team. It’s a firm composed of very skilled practitioners that I’ve admired through interactions on various projects. I get energized collaborating with clients and bringing a team of experts to the table to solve tough problems. The Aspect team gives me an opportunity to do more of that. I’ll also be focused on introducing clients to a more creative set of solutions through my established environmental practice while branching out into water and geohazard skills that I developed early in my career and have blossomed again through my volunteer work with EWB-USA,” Dave said.

Formerly a Principal Geologist with GeoEngineers, Dave has over 25 years of environmental consulting experience, with focused expertise in urban brownfields redevelopment, site acquisition, remedial cost estimation, cleanup, environmental strategy and regulatory liaison. Dave has led many large, complex environmental projects in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, including Amazon’s revitalization of South Lake Union and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Headquarters, which received a 2014 American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) national engineering award.