Brienn Purdue Ellis (BS Geology, 2012)

Stormwater Engineering Technician in Gig Harbor, Washington

My geology degree from Central has taken me to many different states and through many different industries. Private to public and oil to environmental.

My professional career started out in Wyoming as a Field Geologist for the oil industry. This adventure took me to Ohio, Texas, and ultimately Oklahoma City where I pretended to be a business expert and ran the Quality Control and Accounting program for a drilling company. Accounting was NOT my cup of tea and I talked my way back into being a Geosteerer for big oil and natural gas. I learned a lot about the oil industry, the good and the awful. It was a great first job right out of college.

Three years in Oklahoma is enough for anyone, so we moved back home to Washington. I got a Geotechnical position, where I got to work with 3 awesome CWU geology alumni! I got to learn a lot about the construction world and was introduced to stormwater and state regulations.

I jumped from the private industry to state government and worked as a Construction Stormwater Inspector for the Department of Ecology. I really enjoyed Ecology, but I learned quickly that government moves at a much slower pace than private industry.

Currently I deal with everything stormwater related at the City of Gig Harbor. I keep theCity in compliance with state and federal regulation, deal with code enforcement cases, review civil plans (they are trying to teach me how to be an engineer, but I am resisting), and help development stay on track for erosion control.

I am not a licensed geologist, but geology has always been in the background of all my professional adventures. Understanding fault behavior, hydrology, geomorphology, topography, soil composition, erosion, and having a deep appreciation for field data and observation.

My time at CWU and roaming the hallways of Lind Hall provided a great foundation. The Geology Department will always have a special place in my heart and those lifelong memories and people will forever be cherished.

Information last updated on Feb 23, 2020