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JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JAN. 7, 2022 - Jennifer Hoggatt with the Missouri Geological Survey and Karen Rouse, Leigh Mitchell and Terrie Williams with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Environmental Quality have been selected as the department’s 2021 Team Members of the Year. The team was nominated for their efforts related to the Atchison County Levee Setback project. This project, one of the largest levee setback projects on the lower Missouri River in many years, will reduce damage in future floods.

Hoggatt, a deputy division director of the Missouri Geological Survey, served as the department’s primary coordinator for the project. She was responsible for working with a multitude of partners, including The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Atchison County Levee District and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. She has proven time and time again her ability to find the best solution among many interests and maintain forward momentum to the benefit of Missouri citizens and the environment.

In addition to Hoggatt’s work, the team of Rouse, Mitchell and Williams with the department’s Kansas City Regional Office (KCRO) worked together to expedite a permit review for the project saving taxpayers several million dollars. After a contractor inadvertently neglected to apply for a MOG-698 permit, the team assisted with the completion of an application, an evaluation of the proposed activity and the issuance of a permit in less than two weeks. Without the permit, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would also have had to void the contract, further delaying the important flood protection project.

“Jennifer’s outstanding work shepherding this initiative, while solving problems and resolving issues at the highest levels, has allowed the project to maintain momentum,” said Dru Buntin, the director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, who nominated the team for the award. “In addition, our KCRO team worked together and responded nimbly and flexibly to an unexpected hiccup in the project’s permitting process, avoiding unnecessary delays.”

Hoggatt joined the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in January 2008 and resides in Monett. Rouse joined the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in January 1998 and resides in Lee’s Summit. Mitchell joined the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in August 2013 and resides in Olathe. Williams joined the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in January 2007 and resides in Independence.

photo of 2021 Team Members of the Year, Jennifer Hoggatt, Karen Rouse, Leigh Mitchell and Terri Williams

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