Karen and the Clem Elum Fish Passage

Can you imagine waking up at 4:30 am, leaving your office space by 6:00 am, and venturing out 1.5 hours to a massive fish passage dam? That is just the beginning of Karen’s Day. Karen is a survey technician in our Wenatchee office and is the survey party chief for the Cle Elum Fish passage project. PACE is contracted by @Garco to provide surveying services for this 80-foot deep, 80-foot-wide circular downhill structure designed for fish to go from the lake to the river. Karen’s job is vital for this project because the placement of each aspect of this project must be precise for it to operate the way it is supposed to. Surveying is one of the smaller tasks compared to the big picture, but it’s an essential piece for the project to be designed correctly.

This is just one example of the unique projects that Karen works on daily. She has been a surveyor for over 30 years. Karen loved to travel and go fishing in high school but was also great at math. She wanted to attend a high school in Anchorage that focused on different careers like mechanics, forestry, surveying, and drafting. Ultimately, she found her passion from her father and grandfather’s surveying experience. Karen thought it would be fun and challenging to be in a man’s field and prove that she could be anything she wanted to be as a woman. Additionally, she chose a career that involved the great outdoors and mathematics. Karen is the prime example that you can do anything you put your mind to. We asked Karen what advice she would give to high schoolers interested in surveying; she said, “Don’t get too intimidated by the math. I carry three simple math formulas around with me, and I use them often. Most of the math is done on your field controller. Be flexible and ready for a new and different task or adventure every day! When you get to a beautiful place on the top of a hill or the side of a mountain, or an overlook on a lake, take a deep breath and enjoy the scenery and what you have accomplished in your profession.”

PACE is so proud to have you on our team, Karen! Thank you for your dedication and passion for surveying.