At any given time, you’re most likely to find Scott Namestnik in one of two places: in the field, where he completes wetland delineations, botanical inventories, natural features inventories, endangered species surveys, invasive species mapping, and plant identification workshops, or in his office, managing projects and reports for Orbis Environmental Consulting in South Bend, Indiana.
We caught up with Namestnik to learn more about his work in the research industry as a Senior Botanist. While he initially intended to study architecture at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Namestnik soon learned that his interests were more inclined towards studying vegetation rather than blueprints: “Halfway into my first semester, I decided to switch majors,” Namestnik recalled.
“I had always enjoyed environmental science classes in high school … I essentially flipped a coin and went with the botany major.”
That proverbial coin flip proved to pay off; after graduation, Namestnik accepted a job offer at The Nature Conservancy in Missouri, where he completed field botany and vegetation sampling. It was here at Namestnik met Justin Thomas, a fellow botanist at the Conservancy with, Namestnik noted, “charisma and passion that is wildly contagious.”
He fondly credits Thomas for his “addiction” to identifying plants: “In addition to loving the fieldwork we would do four days per week, I became addicted to identifying plants … to this day, the line between work and hobby is very gray.”
The day in the life of a botanist is anything but the menial nine-to-five: there is no “typical” workday, according to Namestnik, which is what drew him to the industry. Now a Lead Botanist at Orbis, he works with land trusts, the Department of Natural Resources from various states, private landowners, developers, and other organizations or individuals who require environmental consultation.
He serves as the liaison between the client and regulatory agencies, completing a variety of projects that combine strong communicative skills with a healthy dose of fearlessness: this job, unlike some others, is one that requires a willingness to get your hands dirty, a task that Namestnik carries out with unmistakable enthusiasm and vigor.
We asked how Conseris might bridge the gap between the old and the new, bringing modernization and efficiency to an industry that is as fast-paced as it is ever-changing.
“At this point,” Namestnik stated, “We are not using much technology in the field, but we’re investigating ways to use tablets to collect data.”
Hard-working botanists, rejoice: Conseris is about to make your work with plants a whole lot easier. We’ll follow you anywhere, wi-fi zone or otherwise. Try out our 30-day free trial here!