MMAD Scientist Associates presents to Tree City USA Awards Program attendees

Mark did a great job presenting about Westerville wetlands to over 130 Tree City USA Awards Program attendees on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at the Westerville Community Center. Highlights included community connections that can be made through conservation efforts, and "tree-tales," which showcased the interesting facts behind tree preservation and plantings for local wetland projects. 

For Throwback Thursday, we included a shot of the moose at the Columbus Zoo enjoying the large (and non-native) corkscrew willows that were removed from Highlands Park during the wetland enhancement project.

MAD Scientist Associates receives WBE national certification

MAD Scientist Associates, LLC has received national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Ohio River Valley Women's Business Council, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).  Simultaneously, MAD also received SBA's Woman-Owned Small Business certification, which will enable them increased opportunities for federal contracts.

 WBENC’s national standard of certification implemented by the Ohio River Valley Women's Business Council is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women.

By including women-owned businesses among their vendors, corporations, and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier/vendor diversity programs.

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is the nation’s largest third party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the United States. WBENC is a resource for the more than 700 US companies and government agencies that rely on WBENC’s certification as an integral part of their supplier diversity programs.

Contact MAD Scientist Associates today to support local and federal diversity while accomplishing your goals.

MAD Scientist Associates is now EDGE certified

MAD Scientist Associates is pleased to announce that our firm is now EDGE certified by the State of Ohio.  The Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity (EDGE) program allows small disadvantaged businesses an opportunity to compete for state supply and service contacts.  As the primary shareholder of MAD, owner Christine Dilley is looking forward to finding more opportunities where MAD staff can participate in providing high quality wetland and ecological work to meet the project goals of various agencies within the state.  Please take a moment to review our MAD capabilities here on our web site, and contact us about how our team can help accomplish your project objectives.  

New Year, New MAD Discovery in Dublin

January 2016 - Often it's the little things that keep work interesting.  Case in point: Mark and Aaron's observation of Slaty Skimmer dragonflies during an ecological survey at Dublin's Brandon Park.  This species has not been recorded for Franklin County, so MAD Scientist Associates has submitted photographs for verification of the record with the Ohio Odonata Survey.

MAD-designed wetland project receives high marks from Ohio EPA

Having been tasked with an evaluation of State-funded wetland projects, Ohio EPA Wetland Ecologist Brian Gara visited the Highlands Wetland Expansion and Enhancement site this past summer.  His report on the vegetation quality of wetlands created, restored or enhanced using grants under Section 319, the Surface Water Improvement Fund (SWIF) or the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) identified the Highlands wetlands as having the highest Vegetative Index of Biotic Integrity - Floristic Quality (VIBI-FQ) score of the six sites evaluated, ranking the site as a high Category 2 wetland.  The report states: "The VIBI-FQ score of 41 is very high for a wetland so early in the successional sequence," concluding that "[b]ased strictly on this assessment, the Highland Park wetland should be considered very successful."  Another MAD project, the Reynoldsburg City Schools Summit Road wetlands was ranked as a low Category 2, a respectable result for this high-traffic educational resource for the school campus. 

Lost Creek Restoration Underway

MAD is working with Miami County Park District officials in restoring a field to forest. As part of a Clean Ohio grant project, 317 container trees were planted in what was previously a cattle pasture at the Lost Creek Reserve. This area will now connect two wood blocks and include pockets of wetlands.  We are looking forward to witnessing this site transition from a former pasture area to an oak-hickory savanna.  

Work will carry into 2016, when we plan to enhance sections of an existing wetland and prairie system. Approximately one-half acre of invasive species were treated in 2015 and were seeded with a native sedge meadow mix. Over 1,000 rooted plugs will be installed with the help of Miami County Volunteers next spring.

MAD Staff takes time to give NAHS students professional feedback

In December 2015, several MAD staff members went back to high school! Well, they were invited by the New Albany High School Environmental Science class to critique presentations developed by 11th grade students regarding harmful algal blooms. It was a pleasure listening to students explain how they researched possible solutions for phosphorus reduction in the Grand Lake Saint Marys watershed, which was the focus of their projects. Many of them came to the realistic conclusion that there is no "one-way" to solve an environmental problem, rather they are much more complex and require a multi-faceted approach. We had to share some of the reflective thoughts posted by students that make us appreciate great teachers that make learning relevant and meaningful. They came up with some really thoughtful questions and comments that made us glad we were able to participate. We've got 16 and 17 year olds talking about engineered wetlands!

After presenting our solution, it dawned on me how much I actually learned from this, and made me respect all of the scientists trying to figure out a solution.”

I am now more aware of how big of an issue water pollution in Ohio is. After listening to the experts comments, I can tell that the impact they left on the class was significant, and that there are very few people who are unenlightened about this topic.

My questions is about the cost and effectiveness of the engineered wetlands. Would it have to be constantly monitored to see its effectiveness? Overall, I really enjoyed this project due to its real life implications, and the interesting discussions with the MAD Scientist Associates. I loved everyone’s ideas and the creativity that we were able to display, especially as this is an ongoing problem not just in Ohio.”

Surprise gift from a fellow nature lover

As a thank you for our role in the Highlands Park wetlands enhancement project, local nature photographer Bill Baird dropped by our office this fall to surprise us with a framed copy of one of his beautiful Great Blue Heron photos from the Highlands wetlands.  Thanks so much to Bill!

Stratford Road low-head dam removal

MAD Scientist Associates LLC (MAD) was proud to assist the City of Delaware and other partners to continue the important work of restoring the Olentangy River. Twenty-two miles of the Olentangy River are designated as State Scenic River, but much of the waterway has been impacted by rapid urbanization and hydro-modifications. MAD was contracted to conduct mussel surveys and obtain a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the removal of two low-head dams just upstream of the State Route 23 bridge. A Nationwide Permit #27 for Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Establishment, and Enhancement Activities was received this past spring. In preparation for demolition activities, mussels in the work area were relocated and, during low flow summer conditions,the dams were successfully removed. The river has since returned to a more natural flow regime, with expanding beds of water willow and free-flowing riffles and runs providing valuable in-stream habitat. We commend the City of Delaware for taking on this project. We were pleased to play a small role in the restoration of one of Ohio’s beautiful rivers and we look forward to similar opportunities in the future!

Westerville - Spring Valley Greenway Grand Opening

On October 3, MAD Scientist Associates, City of Westerville Parks & Recreation, and Ohio EPA came together with community members for the dedication and grand opening of the Spring Valley Greenway.  This event included a volunteer planting opportunity, invasives control, waterway education, stream exploration, and a wildflower giveaway.

The City of Westerville received a grant from Ohio EPA to restore and enhance parts of the Spring Valley stream, a headwater tributary of Alum Creek. To prevent bank erosion, unnatural materials were used to "armor" the bank, which now need to be removed. Within the project area, the stream will be restored to a more natural state for the benefit of water quality and in-stream habitat.

MAD Honored with Franklin SWCD Great Blue Heron Award

MAD Scientist Associates, LLC has been recognized for their contributions to conservation through their promotion of wetlands, education outreach, and continuous support in community conservation efforts in Franklin County.  MAD Scientist Associates was awarded the Great Blue Heron Award from Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District

MAD Scientist Associates a longtime supporter of Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District. MAD Scientist Associates has assisted Franklin Soil and Water and Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation in establishing a Creekside buffer in Huber Park and provided volunteers for our annual tree sale, where we provide low cost tree seedlings and native plants to local residents.  Every year this firm participates in events within the City of Westerville, including the annual Party at the Creek nature festival in Westerville.  They recently held their 16th annual Wetlands Workshop for families at Highlands Park.  They also participated in Make A Difference Day where they removed invasive species and planted native trees and shrubs at Boyer Nature Preserve.

Mark Dilley, co-owner of MAD Scientist Associates with his wife Christine Dilley, is a Professional Wetland Scientist and Certified Senior Ecologist with over 20 years of experience in wetland science, field biology, ecology, and environmental studies.  Dilley received the Ohio Alliance for the Environment Award from the Environmental Education Council of Ohio (EECO) in the spring of 2015, an award “given to businesses in Ohio that are dedicated to fostering a climate of cooperation for resolving environmental problems.” Mark Dilley has also served as a board member and is currently an associate board member who provides guidance and assistance to the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District board and staff.

The Great Blue Heron Award recognizes outstanding contributions in natural resources and stream protection within Franklin County. Franklin Soil and Water recognizes the importance of partnerships to the sustainability and success of its mission to protect and improve soil and water resources, and is pleased to recognize MAD Scientist Associates, LLC with this award.

Fine Tuning Leadership Skills

Kudos to our co-owner and CEO, Christine Dilley, for devoting time to fine tuning her business leadership skills in running our company.  She has been working all year with Your Management Team using FastTrac GrowthVenture for the Female Entrepreneur curriculum as part of the SBA Scale Up America initiative for small business owners to provide more jobs and have a greater impact on the local economy. Since beginning the program, our company has made great strides in reaching our goals for improving our systems and expanding our business.