Meet Aaron Conti, a Certified Ecologist, Professional Wetland Scientist, and Tennessee-Qualified Hydrologic Professional at EnSafe. Aaron is truly passionate about the impact his career has on the environment (and the wildlife and people who live in it). Here he is, in his own words, talking about how his hobby of wildlife photography has informed his professional passions:
Since taking up wildlife photography as a hobby, I’ve grown to appreciate viewing wildlife in a way that has helped fuel and sustain my professional passion for wetland ecology. For example, it’s helped me focus on wetland birds’ behavior in a way that I hadn’t before. With a camera in hand, trying to predict the moment when they will burst into flight to the other side of the pond or a high tree branch takes on a new importance.
To position yourself for any chance of success capturing avian elegance and vitality in an image, you often have to wake up early, drive to find and explore a quiet spot, and hope to be at least as lucky as you are good that day. In my own experience, so many blurred, flying-out-of-frame, and under/overexposed photos go into getting a quality image. And usually even then some branch is getting in the way of that “perfect” photo.
We’re grateful to have Aaron on the EnSafe team, and we commend him on his dedication to capture that “perfect” photo. Drawing on the effort it takes to capture that image, Aaron emphasizes the importance of taking a moment to acknowledge and commend the perseverance and dedication of others. Pausing to celebrate successes offers tremendous value to employee morale. He explains:
In wildlife photography, as with professional endeavors, disproportionate amounts of dedication, effort, perseverance, creativity, and discipline go into the seemingly ephemeral successes. And then, without much pause, we usually look toward the next task or challenge on the horizon. We may never get (or want) to rest on our laurels, but it can be helpful to take a moment now and again to recognize our triumphs along the way. And better still, express that sentiment to a colleague by congratulating a teammate on a job well done – it may really brighten their day.
Beyond his incredible photography skills, Aaron currently provides ecological field services expertise and project management to EnSafe projects related to wetland and stream jurisdictional determinations, permitting, and mitigation covered by Clean Water Act Sections 404 and 401, Rivers and Harbors Act Section 10, Endangered Species Act Sections 7 and 10, National Historic Preservation Act Section 106, and other federal and state regulations. Aaron has applied for and obtained numerous state and federal permits for impacts to jurisdictional water resources, written Compensatory Mitigation Plans, conducted compensatory mitigation implementation and led subsequent monitoring events including planted tree survival and relocated stream bank stability evaluations.
Aaron also provides key technical support for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) applications related to proposed projects with potential environmental impacts. Additionally, he conducts ecological surveys for rare, threatened, and endangered species’ known or suitable habitats, often focusing on the federally endangered Indiana bat and the threatened northern long-eared bat. His latest field outing took him to the floodplains of the wild and scenic Cumberland River to delineate over 120 acres that featured an abundance of wetlands and streams.
#quality #success #career #photography #creativity #teambuilding #ecology #wetlands #positivethinking