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How did you get your start at NYSERDA?

I started with NYSERDA while finishing my PhD in Earth Systems Science at the University at Buffalo. I heard NYSERDA was in need of a soil erosion expert to assist with an environmental impact statement and long-term planning at the West Valley site. I would have a wide range of responsibilities and could focus on NYSERDA’s long-term strategy while also managing the day-to-day aspects of the site. This variety of work interested me and so I decided to apply.

What are your primary work duties?

Lee Gordon

Lee Gordon

I manage the Phase 1 Studies, which is a cooperative effort with the Department of Energy, to conduct studies and analysis related to the long-term future of the West Valley site. I also manage NYSERDA’s groundwater and erosion monitoring efforts at the State-Licensed Disposal Area, a 15 acre shut down radioactive waste disposal facility. I represent NYSERDA’s interests in the decommissioning of a number of facilities associated with the West Valley Demonstration Project. In addition, I oversee NYSERDA’s databases and geographic information systems at West Valley.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I most enjoy the variety of work in my role. In a given day, I might evaluate an erosion control construction project in the morning, discuss a 10,000 year site performance analysis in the afternoon, and deliver a public presentation at an evening meeting. I routinely interact with teams internally within NYSERDA as well as externally with the Department of Energy, contractors, regulatory agencies, and the public. I enjoy working with the public to hear and understand their concerns and convey to them the science-based approach we’re taking. Another benefit is working with the talented and dedicated staff at NYSERDA.

What are you most proud of professionally and personally?

Professionally, I’m proud to be part of a program that places public and environmental health, along with a science-based approach, first and foremost in the decision making process.

Personally, I’m proud of my educational achievement and my family. My wife and I have two little kids running around the house and they keep us on our toes.

If you won the lottery, how would you spend it?

I would love to have our extended family live in one luxurious location and live out our years traveling the world together. My dream would be to buy a yacht and sail the tropics!