Category Archives: Galveston District

Galveston District Spotlight on Ron Wooten

If you were to ask Fort Worth native Ron Wooten what his favorite job has been throughout his career, you’d be surprised  to learn he’s sort of a jack-of-all-trades, having worked as an advanced placement high school teacher, research fisheries biologist, mentor, landscape and irrigation company owner and photojournalist.
If you were to ask Fort Worth native Ron Wooten what his favorite job has been throughout his career, you’d be surprised to learn he’s sort of a jack-of-all-trades, having worked as an advanced placement high school teacher, research fisheries biologist, mentor, landscape and irrigation company owner and photojournalist.

 

By USACE Galveston District Public Affairs Office

GALVESTON, Texas – If you were to ask Fort Worth native Ron Wooten what his favorite job has been throughout his career, you’d be surprised to learn he’s sort of a jack-of-all-trades, having worked as an advanced placement high school teacher, research fisheries biologist, mentor, landscape and irrigation company owner and photojournalist.

With a variety of skill sets under his belt, Wooten is learning to master an important role as a Department of the Army Intern and regulatory specialist in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District’s Regulatory Branch, helping to protect the nation’s aquatic resources, while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible and balanced permit decisions – a position he’s held since September 2013.

“I’ve grown to love coastal living and have really come to appreciate how important our coastal and wetland natural resources are to our planet,” said Wooten. “This is one of the few fields in which man’s activities that lead to wetland or watery habitat destruction or degradation can be evaluated for impacts and prevented or mitigated.”

The Department of the Army Intern Program is a vital source of new talent for the Army.

Participants enjoy a wide variety of education and training opportunities that introduce them to the Army mission, culture and business enterprises and develop their early career competencies, allowing rapid advancement to the journeyman level while building a foundation for future professional growth and promotion.

“Everything I am asked to do – I try to do to the best of my abilities,” said Wooten. “I’ve had the opportunity to partake in rotational assignments throughout various divisions here at the Corps, and I am currently working in the Regulatory Branch’s Compliance Division, conducting jurisdictional determinations, wetland delineations and evaluating unauthorized activities.”

The intern program provides a broad variety of projects, each offering their own unique challenges and opportunities for learning.

“I assisted the district’s Office of Counsel in processing Freedom of Information Act requests, in addition to evaluating several jurisdictional determination requests,” said Wooten. “If you work in waters of the United States or discharge fill material into a wetland area over which the Corps has jurisdiction, without first obtaining authorization from the Corps, you may be in violation of federal regulations. Violations can be very expensive to rectify and my result in civil penalties.”

Wooten notes it’s important to contact the Corps if you believe a permit is required to perform work in your area. Staff can assist the community in navigating through the application process.

Wooten’s earned multiple accolades for his work throughout his career, including having been named one of Galveston’s Top 50 Teachers, a commendation for service during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, multiple photojournalism honors and awards of Excellence in Craft from the Texas Outdoor Writers Association.

While he’s only been with the Galveston District for nearly a year and a half, he says he’s grateful for the opportunity to work at the Corps and looks forward to learning and growing professionally. Wooten earned a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries in 1990 from Texas A&M and a master’s degree in Marine Resource Management in 2013 from Texas A&M University at Galveston.

He is a member of the Texas Outdoor Writer’s Association and plans to earn his Professional Wetland Scientist certification. In his spare time, Wooten enjoys photography, camping with his family, enjoying the outdoors and writing.

He is married to his wife, Trisha Wooten, and has two daughters, Allison and Emily.

For more news and information, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.


PRSA Houston recognizes USACE Galveston District with Grand Excalibur Award

By USACE Galveston District Public Affairs Office

Grand Excalibur Winner
Public Affairs Officers Sandra Arnold, APR+M, and Isidro Reyna, APR, accepted the Public Relations Society of America Houston Chapter’s top honor, the 2015 Grand Excalibur Award, on behalf of the USACE Galveston District for its public service campaign to communicate its Dam Safety Program during the 30th Annual Excalibur Awards Gala in Houston June 18, 2015.

HOUSTON – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District received the Public Relations Society of America Houston Chapter’s top honor, the 2015 Grand Excalibur Award, for its public service campaign to communicate its Dam Safety Program during the 30th Annual Excalibur Awards Gala in Houston June 18, 2015.

The public announcement of the district’s Dam Safety Program’s reclassification of the Addicks and Barker dams to “Extremely High Risk,” presented staff with the challenge of communicating the findings to inform 1.2 million residents in the nation’s fourth largest city of risks associated with living downstream of the dams, the $6.8 million short-term interim risk reduction measures in store and the $75-$100 million long-term construction plan to reinforce the nearly 70-year-old structures while maintaining the Corps’ reputation and relevancy as an organization that makes public safety a top priority.

“We are incredibly humbled to be honored by PRSA Houston for our aggressive communications efforts implemented throughout this campaign,” said Isidro Reyna, deputy chief of public affairs for the USACE Galveston District. “Staff worked diligently and proactively to keep Houstonians apprised of the status of the aging infrastructure, while facilitating a two-way dialogue with a diverse group of residents and key constituencies in the communities we serve.”

This is the second year in a row the district has received this prestigious recognition. In 2014, the USACE Galveston District earned the Grand Excalibur Award for its Community Relations Program, Communicating Corps responsibilities along the Texas coast: A comprehensive community relations program to increase understanding of the Corps’ mission of providing vital public engineering services in peace and war to strengthen the nation’s security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters.

The Excalibur Awards are open to any communications department within the Greater Houston Area and honor outstanding public relations professionals, programs and tactics. Approximately 100 entries competed for bronze, silver and gold awards.

The Dam Safety Program was also recognized with a Silver Anvil Award and Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America in New York City earlier this month.

For more news and information, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.